Chinese fisheries official snared for corruption, sex scandal

The dismissal of a Chinese fisheries official on corruption charges has been suffused with allegations of bribery and romantic affairs in one of China’s key fishery ports and aquaculture zones.

Chen Quan Biao, head of the Animal Husbandry and Aquaculture Veterinary Bureau of Beihai city, has been charged of a “serious lack of discipline” by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI). The CCDI, the Communist Party’s discipline watchdog, claims he “maintained improper sexual relations” and took bribes in the course of his work and mishandled public funds intended for “ocean fisheries subsidies and dismantlement of trawlers.”

A statement from the Discipline Inspection Committee didn’t specify how much Chen embezzled or any details regarding where the bribes came from. Chen has been stripped of his party membership and the case will be sent for a court hearing.

A large port in the Guangxi province on China's southwest coast, Beihai has been a region of growing importance for the shrimp and tilapia production and processing industries. Leading firms Guolian Aquatic and Baiyang Aquatic both have bases in the city.

China has been conducting a campaign against corruption since Xi Jinping took over the presidency in 2012 with a shifting focus between officials in government departments and state agencies as well as state-owned companies which are also run by Communist Party officials.

Though the Communist Party, which often detains suspects and conducts investigations itself rather than leaving it to the police, has punished some corrupt officials, it has done little to bring about institutional reforms. Nor has it allowed the media to play much of a role in ferreting out corruption – the country’s president this week marked Journalist Day by urging Chinese journalists to follow “the correct political direction.”


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