senior Hainan official appears destined to join the ranks of China’s most infamously corrupt cadres after the basement of his home was allegedly found filled with thousands of gold bars.
Zhang Qi, Communist Party secretary of the city of Haikou and member of the province’s Standing Committee, was announced to be under investigation by the Party’s top anti-graft agency early last month for “suspected serious violations of Party disciplinary rules and laws.”
Later in the month, video leaked online of several people surveying a massive stockpile of gold.
— 猪血旗下 (@h1300062810) September 24, 2019
According to unconfirmed social media reports, the gold was discovered in Zhang’s own basement and is said to weigh “13.5 tons” in total. Even more outlandishly, Zhang is reported to have somehow secured bribes to the tune of 268 billion yuan ($37.5 billion), not to mention various luxury properties.
If that extremely improbable number is actually correct, Zhang would be competing with Jack Ma for the title of China’s richest man. Hainan’s GDP in 2018 was a mere 483.2 billion yuan ($67.7 billion).
Chinese state media have yet to report on the raid. Zhang previously worked as the Party chief in two other Hainan cities, Danzhou and Sanya. He became the boss in the provincial capital in 2016. He is 58 years old.