Air­line in­ves­ti­ga­tion broad­ens its scope

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By CHI­NADAILY

Two more ex­ec­u­tives at China South­ern Air­lines have been caught up in a cor­rup­tion scan­dal, bring­ing to six the num­ber of se­nior ex­ec­u­tives placed un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the top anti­graft watch­dog.

Lu Hongye, gen­eral man­ager of the cor­po­ra­tion’s fi­nan­cial depart­ment, and Hu Zhiqun, gen­eral man­ager of its con­struc­tion de­vel­op­ment branch, have been held for in­ves­ti­ga­tion on charges of cor­rup­tion, an in­sider of the cor­po­ra­tion re­vealed to Chi­nese me­dia.

Lu is al­leged to have mis­used his power to pro­mote Tao Li­fang, a fe­male em­ployee in his depart­ment who was also re­ported to be his mis­tress.

A whistle­blower posted a no­tice on a web­site giv­ing records of 410 days that they stayed in lux­ury ho­tels in Guangzhou from Jan­uary 2009 to June 2011, with to­tal room charges of 360,000 yuan ($60,000).

Tao was re­moved from her po­stan­dis facin­gan­in­ves­ti­ga­tion, ac­cord­ing to the in­sider.

Hu was in charge of land de­vel­op­ment and as­sis­tance for air­line trans­porta­tion, which is a hugely prof­itable business.

On Mon­day, the board of China South­ern Air­lines ap­proved the re­moval of Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer Xu Jiebo and Ex­ec­u­tive Vi­cePres­i­dent Zhou Yue­hai. The week be­fore that, Chen Gang, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent, and Tian Xiaodong, COO of flight op­er­a­tions, were re­moved from their jobs un­der sus­pi­cion of cor­rup­tion.

An au­dit in early De­cem­ber re­vealed ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties at China South­ern and the anti­graft au­thor­ity was said to have ex­tended its in­spec­tion after it found ram­pant cor­rup­tion at the air­line.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion of China South­ern Air­lines, Asia’s largest car­rier by pas­sen­ger num­bers, is part of a third wave of in­ves­ti­ga­tions into State-owned en­ter­prises by the Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Dis­ci­pline In­spec­tion, which started at the end of last year.

Other com­pa­nies be­ing in­ves­ti­gated as part of the third wave in­clude China Unicom and Shen­hua Group.

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