May 22 (Bloomberg) -- Chinese authorities charged six people with blackmail for allegedly extorting two officials by secretly filming their sexual encounters, People’s Daily reported on its website today.
The six were charged in the southern city of Chongqing with blackmailing two officials for 5 million yuan ($815,000), the report said. Among the targets was Lei Zhengfu, a district Communist Party secretary in Chongqing who was fired after a video of him having sex with a woman was posted online.
The sex tape drew attention to a Chongqing police investigation that found a criminal ring had hired women to seduce local officials, filmed them having sex, and then used the videos to demand money or government contracts, the official Xinhua News Agency reported May 7. Twenty-one government officials and executives with state-owned enterprises were later punished, it said.
When President Xi Jinping took over as general-secretary of the party in November, he warned that a failure to contain corruption could lead it to lose power. In a May 14 article, Xinhua said Lei’s downfall “suggested the ruling party welcomes netizens to join the anti-corruption campaign in a rational, legal way.”
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