China corruption investigation: ex-security chief Zhou Yongkang arrested
Just three months after Bo Xilai (薄熙來), the former chief of the megacity of Chongqing, was sentenced to life in prison on charges of corruption, China’s retired minister of public Security and former Politburo committee member Zhou Yongkang (周永康), has been arrested.
According to media outlet Boxun and Mingjing News, the 71-year-old Zhou was so terrified when told he was being was placed under custody that he was unable to stand.
Reports say that following the 2012 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China during which Zhou officially retired, China's anti-corruption tsar Wang Qishan (王岐山) secretly dispatched 500 police officers to investigate Zhou, sidestepping police forces overseen by the formerly powerful politician.
Zhou is alleged to have conspired to overthrow the Chinese government by assassinating now-President Xi Jinping (習近平) and replacing him with Bo Xilai (薄熙來)after the 17th National Congress in 2007. He has also been accused of attempting to organize what could be the biggest mafia network in Chinese history.
The charges against Zhou reportedly include allegations that he hired two police officers to murder his ex-wife in a fake car accident so he could marry a young anchorwoman in 2001.
The two officers are said to have spent several years in jail but upon their release were both given cushy jobs in China’s National Petroleum Company.
Possibly due to a family squabble, one of Zhou’s sons is said be aiding in the corruption probe against his father.
Alleged corruption involving Zhou and his kin stretch from shady real estate deals to bribery and backhanded deals in the petroleum and telecommunications industries.
In a position of power for more than a decade, Zhou’s family are alleged to have pocketed some US$500 million.
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