Gold Mao statue found in his home

CHINA - A top Chinese military officer was found to have an Aladdin's Cave of supposedly ill-gotten items, including a gold statue of Mao Zedong, it emerged this week.

During a raid on the home of Lieutenant-General Gu Junshan, police seized four trucks' worth of luxury items. They included a cellar of expensive wine, a golden hand basin and the glistening effigy of Chairman Mao.

Gu was the deputy director of the People's Liberation Army General Logistics Department until he was taken into custody and investigated for corruption in January 2012, UK daily The Telegraph reported.

He has not been seen in public since.

Gu owned dozens of apartments in central Beijing and his mansion in Puyang in the central province of Henan housed the luxury items, Chinese magazine Caixin reported on Wednesday after a two-year investigation.

'General's Mansion'

The mansion, which was modelled on the Forbidden City, was dubbed the "General's Mansion" by locals, the report said.

A group of about 20 police officers spent two nights loading the items from Gu's home into four lorries, Caixin reported.

The magazine had published on Tuesday a series of investigative reports on Gu and his family's lavish life and confiscation of his property in January last year.

The revelations came amid Chinese President Xi Jinping's repeated vows to stamp out graft in the Chinese Communist Party and rumours about a potentially explosive corruption investigation into China's former security chief.

"Every Party official should keep in mind that all dirty hands will be caught," Mr Xi told members of the Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline, according to Xinhua, China's state news agency.

"Not one cent of public money should be appropriated and not a slight bit of official power should be abused for personal ends," he said.

The scale of the challenge facing Mr Xi was laid bare this week with an avalanche of revelations about Chinese government officials.

In the southern city of Shenzhen, a village chief went on trial on Wednesday for allegedly taking 56 million yuan (S$11.8 million) in bribes which he used to buy at least 64 properties, reported the West China Metropolis Daily.

The chief was arrested last year after claims that he had amassed a fortune of two billion yuan.