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Chinese general arrested for gilded lifestyle

Top officer had dozens of homes, a golden boat, gold statue of Mao and other items confiscated in corruption probe.

Last updated: 16 Jan 2014 06:16
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Gu's house, known as the 'General's Mansion', is modelled on the Forbidden City in Beijing [Caixin]

A top Chinese military officer was arrested for corruption after lining his pockets with kickbacks and buying dozens of homes, a gilded statue of Mao Zedong, and a "golden boat".

Gu Junshan, a former lieutenant general and deputy logistics chief with great influence within the People's Liberation Army, was arrested after an investigation into his personal affairs.

The Caixin magazine reported this week that the state confiscated possessions including the Mao statue and a mansion he built modelled on the Forbidden City in Beijing.

It alleged he took huge kickbacks through selling military-owned land. In Shanghai, Gu allegedly received a six percent kickback for a military plot that fetched more than $330 million, and in his hometown of Puyang, his family was known for land grabs and property developments, Caixin said.

Officials seized "a gold boat, a gold wash basin and a gold statue of Mao Zedong" along with "crates of expensive liquor" on the premises known by locals as the "General's Mansion", according to Caixin. 

Gu has not been seen since early 2012 and his name has been removed from the official Defense Ministry website. Last summer, Gong Fangbin, a professor at the PLA National Defense University, confirmed that Gu was under investigation saying the public was upset over the crimes of Gu and his predecessor.

The predecessor, Wang Shouye, was given a suspended death sentence by a military court in 2006 for taking tens of millions of dollars in bribes.

However, details of the case may never be announced publicly because it most likely will go before a military court.

China’s leadership has issued a raft of bans over the past year ranging from fancy banquets to expensive gifts, in an effort to deter graft and impose frugality.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday promised a no-holds-barred corruption crusade, warning ruling Communist Party officials that "all dirty hands will be caught", state media reported.

Xi has taken a much-publicised hard line against corruption since coming to power a little over one year ago; stressing that corruption could destroy the party.

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