China has started briefing officials about a corruption investigation of Zhou Yongkang, the nation’s former security chief, paving the way for a public announcement soon, the South China Morning Post said.
The briefings indicate that the probe of the former Politburo Standing Committee member is in its “final stage” and results may be disclosed as soon as after the Lunar New Year break, which ends next week, the Hong Kong-based newspaper said, citing two unidentified people who received the information.
The investigation focused solely on financial issues and corruption, not on any larger offenses, and the “amount of money involved in the case would be far less than some reports have suggested,” the newspaper said.
Investigators had trouble tying Zhou directly to corrupt funds because he allegedly used an “elaborate network” of third-party intermediaries and proxies to protect his family’s interests and obscure the money trail, the Post said. The complexity meant the case took a long time to build, it said.
The probe was triggered by an inquiry into Zhou’s former top aide Guo Yongxiang, who was detained in June for suspected corruption, the newspaper said.