CHINA - Six officials from Hunan province caught in a sex tape scandal in 2010 have been dismissed and are under criminal investigation, the provincial discipline inspection commission said on Monday.
The six officials, all from different parts of Hengyang, a city in the province, were lured into having sex with two young women in a criminal gang, which intended to use sex tapes of the encounters to blackmail the officials, according to a statement by the Hunan Provincial Discipline Inspection Commission.
All six officials - Zhao Anmin, former head of the Hengyang health bureau; Duan Dinghua, former head of the Leiyang Forestry Bureau; Shi Dongsheng, former head of the Leiyang tourism authority; Liu Hong-han, former Party secretary of the Leiyang development and reform bureau; Yin Wen, former vice-president of the Changning committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference; and Kang Junliang, former vice-president of the Hengshan committee of the CPPCC - were punished for their actions, the commission said.
The statement said the two young women, Jiang Chunyan and Long Mingzhu, seduced the officials with phone calls from March to April 2010.
From May to November that year, the six officials had sex with the women, which were caught on tape using pinhole cameras. The gang then used the videos to extort money from the officials. The commission's statement did not reveal how much money was involved.
All six members of the criminal gang have been arrested.
"We found clues into the (gang's) crime when we were investigating other cases in September 2013," said Bao Changlin, Party secretary of the Hengyang Discipline Inspection Commission.
Bao would not reveal any other information because investigations are pending.
The commission's statement said the six officials' sexual affairs seriously violated socialist ethics and created a bad social influence.
The statement also called on Party members and cadres of Hengyang to learn from the scandal and strengthen their self-discipline.
There have been a number of sex scandals involving local officials in recent years. From 2008 to 2009, a criminal gang in Chongqing lured more than 20 officials and State enterprise executives into having sex with women and secretly filmed their actions to blackmail them.
Ren Jianming, a professor of clean governance research at Beihang University, said criminals know officials who have been taped having an extramarital affair will be punished if the videos are made public, so they prey on the officials' fear to blackmail them.