Fan Bingbing tax whistleblower accuses Shanghai police officers of 'huge fraud'

Cui Yongyuan Photo: Netease

Cui Yongyuan, a former host of China Central Television (CCTV), has said on China's Twitter-like Weibo that Shanghai police officers in the Fan Bingbing tax evasion case were involved in a "huge fraud".

He accused them of accepting a bribe of hundreds of thousands of yuan in cash, as well as drinking wine worth 20,000 yuan ($2,900)a bottle and smoking cigarettes priced at 1,000 yuan a carton.

In a rare public response, Shanghai police on Wednesday published a statement on its official Weibo account, urging Cui to get in touch after claiming it had failed to locate him since he made the allegations.

"We hope that he volunteers to contact the police and support our investigation," it said. "Once the problem he reported is proved to be true, we will handle it firmly in accordance with the law."

However, Cui responded via his official account on Jinri Toutiao, the country's leading news aggregator, by saying Shanghai police have never contacted him.

"All of the companies I had worked for and all of my former assistants have been investigated," Cui posted, noting "How come you could not reach me?"

"As for your internal problem, you can start with probing the deputy head of Changning district's economic crime investigation department, Peng Fen, whose son is named Peng Mingda," he added.

In his original post, Cui said he had been investigated by tax officials and police as part of the inquiry into Fan, whom he had accused of tax evasion in May.

While earning high praise from most netizens for his courage to fight against misconduct, Cui faces a host of difficulties and challenges, including death threat.

According to local media reports, a Weibo user named Tianxian Gege, who allegedly was an employee of household appliance retailer Gree, threatened to take Cui's life.

Gree immediately issued a statement on its official Weibo account, denying the rumor and pledging to cooperate with the police on investigation.

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