Police Find 13.5 Tons of Gold Inside Home of Corrupt Official

Police Find 13.5 Tons of Gold Inside Home of Corrupt Official

A powerful Communist official in China is suspected to have received 13.5 tonnes of gold in bribes.

Thousands of golden bars and bricks were discovered at the leader’s home during a raid by corruption inspectors earlier this month.

Their value could be worth up to £520 million, according to international trading prices.

Zhang Qi, 58, who was a top official in the province of Hainan has been sacked.

In addition to the gold, inspectors discovered 268 billion yuan (£30 billion) in suspected bribes on the man’s account, according to reports.

He was also thought to have received multiple luxurious villas as perks.

If Mr Zhang’s alleged corruption turns out to be true, he would have been richer than Jack Ma, the wealthiest man in China worth $37 billion (£30 billion) according to Forbes.

Mr Zhang was the secretary of the Communist Party Committee of Haikou, the provincial capital city of Hainan with a population around nine million people.

He had equal power as the city’s mayor, according to the ranking of Chinese Communist party officials.

He was also a member of the Standing Committee of Hainan Province.

He has been stripped of both titles by the Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

Footage circulating on Twitter shows one person counting lumps of gold in a room believed to be in Mr Zhang’s lavish home.

The clip and related news have been censored in mainland China.

In a statement on September 6, the country’s corruption watchdog said Mr Zhang was suspected to have seriously violated the law and discipline.

He is currently under inspection and investigation from the authority.

Mr Zhang was born in eastern China’s Anhui Province and joined the Communist Party in 1983.

Before ascending to power in Haikou, he served as the deputy mayor of Sanya city and the mayor of Danzhou. Both cities are in Hainan Province.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has launched a tough anti-corruption campaign since he took office in 2012.

Statistics show at least 53 officials have been caught receiving more than 100 million yuan (£11 million) in bribes in the past seven years in the nation.

Mr Zhang is the 17th senior official to have been investigated for corruption in China since the beginning of the year, according to Chinese media.

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