Honeytrap sex tapes lift lid on Communist sleaze in China
A set of scandalous sex tapes featuring Chinese government officials has lifted the lid on corruption and blackmail in Chongqing under Bo Xilai, the city's former Communist Party boss.
So far, only one of the six tapes has come to light.
Released last week, it shows Lei Zhengfu (54), the head of one of the city's districts, with an 18-year-old woman who had been hired by a property company.
Mr Lei has since been sacked from his position. Yesterday, the local government promised a "thorough investigation" into his affairs.
However, the whistleblower who released the tape said it was merely the tip of the iceberg.
Zhu Ruifeng, the founder of the 'Supervision by the People' website, explained that Mr Lei had been one of many officials in Chongqing who were lured into honey traps and then blackmailed into granting favourable contracts.
"Companies realised that sometimes beautiful girls work better than cash bribes," said Mr Zhu.
"So they hired girls to be mistresses for officials who have control over certain projects."
Unknown to the officials, the girls secretly filmed them in bed, providing ample material for future blackmail, if necessary.
Zhao Hongxia, now a 23-year-old nurse, wrote on a blog yesterday that she had slept with Mr Lei to earn money in order to pay her father's medical bills.
She explained that the head of a property company had approached her in 2007, given her 50,000 yuan (€6,200) and offered her the chance to earn more.
"He was straightforward, asking me if I wanted to be a prostitute serving some government officials that he had a business relationship with," she wrote.
"In the next two weeks they found several girls to teach me what to do and the night before I went to meet Lei, he (the businessman) slept with me himself as a rehearsal. I found it quite disgusting."
Ms Zhao received 300 yuan (€37) for each night she spent with the official.
As far back as 2009, Mr Lei confessed his situation to Mr Bo, the former head of Chongqing.
"Bo told Wang Lijun (his police chief) to help. Wang set up an investigating team, found the girls in the tape and her boss.
She was detained for 30 days and the property developer was jailed for forging company seals," said Mr Zhu.
He said the video, together with the tapes of at least five other city officials, were suppressed by Mr Bo and Mr Wang during their tenure.
But after Mr Bo was disgraced this year, the tapes found their way into the hands of Mr Zhu.
"I chose to post the video on the same day that the new party chief of Chongqing, Sun Zhengcai, made a speech about fighting corruption," Mr Zhu said.
He added that he was still evaluating how to release the other tapes.
Ms Zhao wrote on her blog, meanwhile, that though Mr Lei had been toppled, it was merely "the beginning".
She added: "There are bigger officials living out there and I know quite a few of them.
"I am looking forward to the discipline committee and independent investigator's actions," she add.
Xi Jinping, China's new paramount leader, has promised a stinging response to endemic corruption in the Communist Party.
There are rumours that an anti-corruption campaign will begin next year. (© Daily Telegraph, London)