Chinese authorities have seized assets worth at least $14.5 billion from retired domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang as part of a wide-ranging corruption investigation.
More than 300 of Zhou’s relatives, political allies, and staff have also been taken into custody or questioned in the past four months, according to the FCPA Blog.
Zhou has been under house arrest since Chinese authorities began investigating him late last year. He is the most senior politician to be subject to a corruption probe since the Communist party came to power in China in 1949.
The government has not made a formal statement about Zhou or the case against him. But President Xi Jinping ordered a task force to look into accusations involving Zhou late last year.
Reports then said the investigation of Zhou is focusing on his time as governor of Sichuan and while he ran CNPC — the China National Petroleum Corporation — the top state-controlled oil and gas company.
Jiang Jiemin, the chairman of PetroChina, the biggest subsiairy of CNPC, is also under investigation, along with three senior executives of PetroChina.
And Wang Yongchun, a CNPC deputy general manager, is also reportedly being investigated for ‘gross violation of party discipline,’ usually a reference to graft.
Zhou’s one-time television reporter wife Jia Xiaoye was detained, and his eldest son from a previous marriage, Zhou Bin.
More than 20 of Zhou’s bodyguards, secretaries and drivers also were detained.