Ling is the most high-ranking serving official with such influence, and his downfall is significant. Ling wielded power as head of the United Front Work Department by working as top aide to then president Hu Jintao for a decade.
Ling Jihua’s family assets and wealth are tied up in property, the mining industry, transportation, advertizing, city security, and Internet information technology, according to Hong Kong magazine Zheng Ming.
All those assets, worth over 83.7 billion yuan ($13.4 billion), have been confiscated.
Also overseas assets and cash worth 28.1 billion yuan ($4.5 billion) are now under investigation.
On the eve of the Chinese Communist Party‘s fourth plenary meeting, Ling confessed that he has over 12 accounts with different banks with a total of around 820 million yuan ($120 million).
Moreover, he owns villas in different parts of China, such as Tianjin, Taiyuan, and Dalian.
Ling’s brother Ling Wancheng was arrested and told the authorities where Ling was hiding all his booty, according to Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily.
Six trucks were needed to cart away all the bribes he had amassed, including large quantity of gold, jade, antiques, paintings, and cash.
Ling Jihua, a Shanxi native, was said to be the founder of the “Shanxi gang.” Over the years, the Lings built up a power base there, and dominated the province’s politics and economy using corrupt means.
His downfall sends two clear messages. First, the Party is rotten to the core. From ex-chief of security Zhou Yongkang and former People’s Liberation Army general Xu Caihou downwards, every official connected with them has risen to power on their coattails.
Second, it shows no one can escape punishment if they break the law, however powerful or influential they may be.