Extortion ring uncovered

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Chinese police in the inland port city of Chongqing have broken an extortion racket in which local officials were secretly filmed in trysts with young women.

Late last year, graphic video of the party secretary of Chongqing’s Beibei district with a young woman was widely circulated on the Chinese internet. The official, Lei Zhengfu, was later sacked.

Ten other officials were removed from their posts after appearing in similar videos, state news agency Xinhua said. They include county and district level officials and the heads of state-owned firms.

China is engaging in an anti-corruption drive that has so far netted low-level officials, after the purge of Chongqing party secretary and populist politician Bo Xilai in March drew unprecedented attention to the wealth garnered by elite political families tied to the ruling Communist party.