Beijing: Chinese army officer Lt. Gen. Gu Junshan, accused of misappropriating public funds, accepting bribes and abuse of power, received “gifts” to the tune of nearly 600 million yuan ($96 million) for participating in the embezzlement of 30 billion yuan ($4.8 billion).
Gu, charged with corruption in March, used to pack luxury vehicles with gold bars and hand them over to his partners, according to a Phoenix Weekly magazine article this week.
According to the magazine, an investigation of a Hong Kong businessman for corruption in 2011 revealed information about the misdeeds of Gu, who it says has powerful bosses, without specifying the name of Gen. Xu Caihou.
Xu, who was arrested in March at a hospital where he was being treated for bladder cancer, is the highest ranking army officer to be in police custody.
Both investigations prove President Xi Jinping’s resolve to fight corruption not only within the Communist Party, dozens of whose high officials have been investigated since his coming to power, but also in the army.
For decades, the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) has been seen to emerge as the most powerful in the triumvirate, comprising the state, the party and the armed forces, which dominates the Chinese regime.
Proceedings against senior PLA officers are uncommon, but not unknown, as in the case of Vice Adm. Wang Shouye who was sentenced to life in prison in 2006 for embezzlement.
The trial of Gu, 57, will take place behind closed doors, according to a PLA Daily report a few months ago, as it involves military secrets.