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13.5 tonnes of gold worth up to £520 million found in Chinese official’s home

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In a surprising case, a powerful Communist official in China is suspected to have received 13.5 tonnes of gold and £30 billion cash in bribes.

During a raid at the official’s home, earlier this month, thousands of gold bars and bricks were discovered. The 58-year-old Zhang Qi, who was a top official in the province of Hainan has been sacked.

According to international trading prices, their value could be worth up to £520 million.

In addition to the gold, inspectors discovered 268 billion yuan (£30 billion) in suspected bribes on the man’s account, according to reports.  Besides, he was also thought to have received multiple luxurious villas as perks.

If Zhang’s alleged corruption turns out to be true, he would have been richer than Jack Ma, the wealthiest man in China worth $37 billion (£30 billion) according to Forbes.

Zhang was the secretary of the Communist Party Committee of Haikou, the provincial capital city of Hainan with a population around nine million people. He was also a member of the Standing Committee of Hainan Province.

He has been stripped of both titles by the Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

In a statement on September 6, the country’s corruption watchdog said Zhang was suspected to have seriously violated the law and discipline.

He is currently under inspection and investigation from the authority.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has launched a tough anti-corruption campaign since he took office in 2012.

Statistics show at least 53 officials have been caught receiving more than 100 million yuan (£11 million) in bribes in the past seven years in the nation.

Zhang is the 17th senior official to have been investigated for corruption in China since the beginning of the year, according to Chinese media.

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