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Two More Officials Caught in Fund Probe
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Shanghai's top state-asset regulator was detained under a probe into the misuse of the city's pension fund to become the latest senior official caught up in the widening corruption scandal, a municipal government spokesman said yesterday.

Ling Baoheng, director of Shanghai's State-Asset Supervision & Administration Commission, was "assisting the investigation" of the Disciplinary Commission of the Communist Party of China, the spokesman said in a statement on the Shanghai government's official news Website Eastday.com.

Wu Hongmei, one of Ling's deputies, was also detained in the probe, according to the statement. No details of their involvement in the scandal have as yet been made available. 

China's latest anti-corruption campaign, initiated in August, has implicated dozens of high-ranking state officials and corporate executives, with former Shanghai Party secretary Chen Liangyu dismissed last month.

The city's 10-billion-yuan (US$1.27 billion) corporate annuities have reportedly been managed via irregular loans without proper collateral and placed in long-term investments such as real-estate projects with high liquidity risks.

Wang Chengming, former chairman at Shanghai Electric Group, and former executive director Han Guozhang, were detained in similar investigations in August and have since quit their company posts.

Qiu Xiaohua, former top statistician, was sacked earlier this month for suspected serious violations of Party discipline, the nation's statistics bureau said last week.

Ling, 51, took office in the city's state-asset commission in April 2004 and also served as the agency's deputy Party secretary. Ling's main duty was to coordinate ownership transfers among the city's large state-owned enterprises, including Shanghai Electric, and to protect the safety of government assets.

(Shanghai Daily October 25, 2006)

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