October 13, 2012 / IST / Tech News.

An investigation spurred by an online post finds a Guangzhou official owning more houses than his income allows which resulted in his suspension and further investigation.

In a statement Friday, the Communist Party of China (CPC) discipline inspection committee of Panyu, said it suspended Cai Bin, an official of Panyu district in Guangzhou, for falsely reporting the number of properties he owns.

The committee said the investigation was prompted by an Internet post claiming that “a certain official in Panyu owns more than 20 [properties]”. The investigation revealed that Cai Bin’s properties were about the same as the number which was reported in the online post, it added.

However, Cai previously claimed he owned only one house while his son owns another property when submitting reports of personal effects.

A report Friday by Xinhua, cited Guo Xuanyu, deputy head of the Panyu discipline inspection committee, as saying that given Cai’s monthly pay and the price of housing, it was “rather difficult for people to believe the 21 houses were all bought legally”.

The Chinese news agency pointed out cyberspace has become an effective tool for grassroots people to help fight government corruption, amid rising tension over a widening income gap.

It noted Cai was among the latest in the line of officials investigated after exposés by Internet users.

Xinhua said Yang Dacai, a former senior work safety official in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, was sacked last month after photos of him wearing at least 11 expensive watches were circulated online.