A scandal now unfolding in Chongqing is sure to strengthen the common Chinese assumption that officials who womanize are likely also to be corrupt.
Lei Zhengfu, former Party chief of Beibei district, was fired after a sex video featuring Lei and an 18-year-old mistress went viral.
Lei claimed the video was altered, but Chongqing disciplinary officials apparently found otherwise.
According to online reports, Lei had amassed such a huge fortune through corruption he was no longer susceptible to offers of money. Favor-seekers found the only way to get to Lei was to procure young women for him.
The tape was reportedly shot in 2007 at the behest of an unnamed property developer who thought the compromising footage would bring Lei into line.
Unconfirmed accounts, however, say Lei used his connections to get Chongqing’s police chief, the now-disgraced Wang Lijun, to arrest the developer and the mistress who shot the video.
Wang is best known for triggering the massive scandal surrounding ousted former Chongqing Party chief Bo Xilai.
In September 2012, Wang was given a 15-year prison sentence for defection, abuse of power, and taking bribes.
The central government’s lengthy indictment against Wang’s ex-boss Bo included allegations Bo “had or maintained improper sexual relationships with multiple women.”
Zhu Rifeng, the citizen journalist behind the Lei sex-tape leak, says he has incriminating footage of five more Chongqing officials, given to him by a police informant. Four of the five, he says, are still in office.
Sources: Caijing Net (财经网)
Benjamin Kessler is a contributing editor of the FCPA Blog and managing editor of its membership area.