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China Anti-Graft Watchdog Finds Gold, Cash in Official's Home

FILE - A vehicle carries the delegates passing by Tiananmen Square as a police officer stands guard next to main road.

China's anti-graft watchdog has discovered 37 kg (82 lbs) of gold, documents for 68 houses and 120 million yuan ($19.6 million) in cash in the home of a Communist Party official who is being investigated for corruption, state media said.

The amount seized in the home of Ma Chaoqun, the former manager of the Beidaihe Water Supply Corporation, was so large that state news agency Xinhua called it “shocking.”

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in Hebei has accused Ma of bribery, embezzlement, and misappropriation of public funds, according to the Beijing News newspaper.

Ma's case was among several other similar corruption cases in Hebei that Xinhua has dubbed “Little officials, Giant corruption.”

“The amount of money involved in these cases is huge and it happened among the people,” Xinhua said. “The social influence is bad and the masses have reacted strongly.”

Wang Ying, a senior official with the central inspection team, said investigators were now planning to turn the spotlight onto state-owned companies after two years of checking on party members and provincial government departments.

Four previous rounds of inspections had covered seven public service institutes, six state-owned enterprises and two universities, added Wang, whose remarks were reported by Xinhua.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to target high-ranking “tigers” as well as lowly “flies” in an extensive campaign against corruption.

The crackdown has come as the government seeks to push forward a wider campaign against extravagance and decadence. (1 US dollar = 6.1224 Chinese yuan)