The former deputy mayor and police chief of Yingde, Guangdong Province, is being investigated for allegedly protecting known drug dealers including his brother and former classmate.
In September two local police officers accused their superior, Zheng Beiquan, of interfering with a police investigation after a drug bust at a local hotel. Police said they found nearly two kilograms of drugs and rounded up 175 people during a raid on the hotel in March.
The drugs seized during the hotel raid included Ketamine, methamphetamines and ecstasy.
Online posts in September detailed Zheng's interference in the case. The authors were said to be Xie Longsheng and Zhu Yingzhong, both of whom worked for the Yingde public security bureau.
The discipline inspection committee of the city of Qingyuan, which administrates Yingde, announced on its website Monday that Zheng is under investigation and is suspected of violating the law.
Xie has denied being an author of the post but in interviews with Nandu Daily he corroborated the online accusations against Zheng.
Xie said the drug squad reported the hotel drug bust to Zheng the morning after it occurred but he failed to follow proper procedures. Xie claims that Zheng later tried to have his brother, friend and others released from detention. Zheng also continued to interfere with the investigators' work, said Xie.
After viewing video surveillance the investigators discovered that Zheng's younger brother was in the hotel at the time of the bust. They soon found that he owned 15 percent of the hotel and the majority owner, Zeng Weibiao, was Zheng's former classmate.
Some five months after the hotel bust the investigation had still not been completed and Xie was transferred to the justice department and Zhu was posted to a job in the legal affairs department.
Meanwhile Zheng was promoted to the public security bureau of Qingyuan.
"The fact that officials have to go online to disclose the violations indicates that a clear channel to report abuse to discipline authorities is absent. It's still rampant that officials shield each other when they make mistakes," Xu Xianglin, associate dean with the School of Government, Peking University, told the Global Times.
Xie told the Guangzhou-based Nanfang Rural News in late October that he would not accept his transfer to the justice bureau. Later he said he hopes to return to his job in Yingde.
"This is not a personal fight between officials, it's a matter of right and wrong. Drug dealing touches our moral bottom-line," Xie said.
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