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Chinese official sacked after photos show luxury tastes

Chinese official sacked after photos show luxury tastes

A Chinese communist official has been sacked from his government post after photos on the Internet showed him wearing a designer watch and smoking luxury brand cigarettes, an official said yesterday.
Zhou Jiugeng, head of a district housing bureau in Nanjing city, became infamous after web users posted photos of him wearing the 100,000-yuan (US$14,600) luxury watch and smoking 150 yuan-a-pack cigarettes.
Other Internet postings in popular portals Mop and Tianya suggested Zhou had other habits well beyond a civil servant's means, such as driving to work in a Cadillac.
Public anger against Zhou's lavish spending triggered a local government probe into his finances, state media reported this month.
"Zhou has been dismissed for two reasons. One is inappropriate remarks to the public, the other is using government money to buy luxury cigarettes," a city anti-corruption official, who gave his surname as Jin, said.
The dismissal was announced Sunday, Jin said, adding that the city government's disciplinary committee was still investigating other accusations against him.
Zhou first came under fire when he said in early December that real estate developers should be punished if they sold properties below cost.
Angry home-buyers who cannot afford apartments that many feel are over-priced fired back and made him the target of a grassroots online investigation.
Meanwhile, local government officials have been told to tone down the partying over the Chinese New Year in a bid to crack down on corruption. Expensive banquets, sightseeing trips and gift-giving using government money have been banned, the official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday.
It said the appeal was made in a circular from the Communist Party's discipline and inspection division, which said officials should live a frugal life.


Updated : 2021-06-23 07:30 GMT+08:00