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China’s Disappeared Tycoons

Wealthy businessmen implicated in corrupt activity involving government officials are disappearing mysteriously in China’s Sichuan Province. Since last August, eight business tycoons have disappeared after allegations about their corrupt activity surfaced.

In the most recent case, chairman of Sichuan Star Cable Co., Ltd, Li Guangyuan, disappeared in late July for unknown reasons. His colleagues and family members have been unable to contact him. His disappearance comes after Beijing News published accusations that Li had obtained government contracts through connections with Guo Yongxiang (pictured), the former deputy governor of Sichuan province who was probed by discipline organs for corruption in June.

It is widely believed that the disappearing tycoons have been detained under “Shuanggui,” a disciplinary system, separate from the main legal system, for party members and government officials who step out of line.

A June 2013 article for The Atlantic describes how little is known about the “Shuanggui” system or how investigators go about extracting confessions from the accused. There have been a number of suicides and deaths, termed as “accidents,” as a result of these interrogations. Reports have also surfaced referencing simulated drownings, cigarette burns and beatings.

Individuals who have disappeared are listed in the full version of this article that first appeared in the China Compliance Digest.

Sources: Beijing News (新京报), Global Times, China Business News (第一财经日报), The Atlantic

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