China busts sex video blackmailers who targeted officials

BEIJING Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:40pm IST

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BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese police in the inland port city of Chongqing have busted a ring that extorted local officials with secretly-filmed video of their encounters with young women, the state-run Xinhua news agency said on Thursday.

Late last year, graphic video footage of the party secretary of Chongqing's Beibei district in a rendezvous with a young woman was widely circulated on the Chinese internet. The official, Lei Zhengfu, was later sacked.

Ten other officials were removed from their posts after appearing in similar videos, Xinhua said. They include county and district level officials and the heads of state-owned firms.

China is engaging in an anti-corruption drive that has so far netted low-level officials, after the purge of Chongqing party secretary and populist politician Bo Xilai in March drew unprecedented attention to the wealth garnered by elite political families tied to the ruling Communist party.

Chinese media said earlier that Lei had been entrapped by a construction company attempting to pressure him into granting contracts.

(Reporting by Lucy Hornby; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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