Chinese investigators hauled away six-truck loads of gold, calligraphy works, and antiques from a secret stash. The valuables, worth 83.7 billion yuan (about $13.4 billion), was just one portion of the illegitimate wealth that Ling Jihua accumulated. Ling was a top aide to Hu Jintao, when Hu headed the Chinese Communist Party.
Ling Jihua’s brother, Ling Wancheng, had revealed the stash to authorities for undisclosed reasons, the Chinese language news website, Boxun reported on Dec. 8, 2014. Ling Wancheng knew the location, as he was the go-to guy for people wanting to bribe Ling Jihua for obtaining official positions, Boxun reported.
And so it is no surprise that Ling Jihua is being investigated for corruption and has been stripped of his powerful position as the vice chairman of the National Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), which serves as an informal advisory legislative body for the CCP. He was charged with “serious disciplinary violations” in December last year, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported on Jan. 20.
“Serious disciplinary violations” is often a byword for corruption in China.
Authorities froze Ling’s 12 bank accounts with a balance of 8.2 million yuan (about US$1.3 million). Ling had already transferred over US$4.5 billion to other countries, Hong Kong newspaper Oriental Daily reported on Jan. 21.
— edde (@Edourdoo) January 21, 2015
Ling also had many luxurious villas across China—in Tianjin, the metropolis in northern China; in Wuxi, an old city in southern Jiangsu Province; in Zhuhai, a city in the southern coast of Guangdong Province; in Taiyuan, the capital of the northern Shanxi Province; and in Dalian, the seaport of Liaoning Province in northeast China.
Ling also owned very valuable real estate abroad. Two luxurious mansions in Kyoto, Japan with a market value of US$500 million were also confiscated from him.
Ling had built quite a business empire spanning multiple industries such as real estate, advertisement, municipal security, private funds, cyber security and transportation.
Ling’s family was not only able to enrich themselves through the coal-rich Shanxi Province, but Ling’s wife, Gu Liping, had reaped a profit of 4 billion yuan (about $643 million) from a high speed rail project by working with former Railway Minister Liu Zhijun, reported Hong Kong’s Trend Magazine in January 2015.
Liu, the former railway boss in China, was tried for corruption in June 2013.
Gu also amassed great wealth through real estate investment and tax evasion by establishing a private fund, a so-called charity, known as “Ying Gong Yi” in 2010. Within less than a year, the fund had brought in a profit of 3 billion yuan (about $483 million) to Ling’s family, reported DWnews.com, a U.S.-based Chinese-language website, on Jan. 19.
The fund also operated and generated much income for the Lings in the real estate markets in Beijing; Wuhan, the capital of eastern Hubei Province; Shanghai; and Anshan, a city in the northeast Liaoning Province.
The revelations about Ling’s vast wealth and corruption follow upon similar reports in December 2014 about Zhou Yongkang, the former head of security czar.
Read the original Chinese article.