By Michael Evans.
Beijing police are denying earlier reports Thursday that a top traffic official had been placed under investigation following accusations that he had rigged the city’s license plate lottery.
The Economy and Nation Weekly reported on its website around 10am that Song Jianguo, head of the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau was being investigated for having fixed the lottery for personal gain.
But on Thursday evening, Beijing’s Public Security Bureau issued a statement denying the report, which had already been forwarded on Weibo more than 11,000 times, according to the China Daily.
The lottery, which distributes less than 20,000 license plates among nearly 1.3 million hopeful drivers each month, raised eyebrows late last month when the name “Liu Xuemei” was picked for the seventh time in a row, having first appeared in the May drawing.
While authorities argued that Liu Xuemei is a common name, watchful netizens noted that it was also the name of an official in the Ministry of Public Security responsible for issuing vehicle permits.