More than 100 senior managers of China’s FAW have been questioned and some have been detained over and unfolding scandal that involves more than 10 billion yuan ($1.61 billion) in assets that went missing.
According to a report in the South China Morning Post, Communist Party investigators are looking into missing company assets that had been embezzled over an undisclosed period.
Some department of the State-owned, Changchun-based carmaker have seen all of their top directors probed, Global Times reports.
“The staff is really in a panic now,” an FAW senior manager told the paper. “Heaven knows who’s next.”
Zhou Yongjiang, a deputy chief economist at FAW, and other managers have been placed under shuanggui (loosely translated as “double punishment”), in which party members can be detained and punished both in criminal and party proceedings. Zhou was allegedly involved in irregular real estate deals.
Reports also says that Zhu Yanfeng, a 52-year-old former president of FAW, was under investigation by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) in connection with the missing assets. Zhu worked at FAW for nearly 25 years prior to his promotion to deputy party secretary of Jilin province.
In 2012, Jing Guosong, vice-president of FAW-Volkswagen, was probed for engaging in unauthorized transactions for personal gain between 2007 and 2010, when the sales of 170 new cars were not registered properly.
The case of FAW’s missing assets emerged in 2011 when the group was audited in preparation for a public listing.
Chinacartimes reports that “the Party has been sending investigators into FAW on a regular basis.”
Owned by China’s central government, FAW is joint venture partner of Toyota and Volkswagen, the world’s largest and third-largest automakers.
The Chinese government is taking an increasingly tough stand against formerly rampant bribery and embezzlement.