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China property developer hired HIV carriers to scare hold-out landowners

Twenty-five government officials in Nanyang city in Henan province have been disciplined for accepting gifts from a property developer that hired six HIV carriers to force residents to evacuate their homes for demolition.

Yian Real Estate Development Company, a local property developer seeking to demolish an old community for commercial projects, hired six HIV carriers to intimidate residents who wouldn't leave their homes, state-run Xinhua News Agency said.

The so called “AIDS demolition team” harassed residents by lighting firecrackers, breaking windows, and leaving threatening messages on the wall, a resident said. Police have arrested five suspects.

One HIV victim confessed he was paid 2,000 yuan ($327) by a middleman to harass the residents, but said he later regretted being used by the developer.

The developer also bribed 29 local officials, including those in charge of demolition and urban planning. The company’s New Year gift list showed that shopping vouchers worth 500 yuan ($81) were given to each official as New Year gifts.

Local authorities have already punished 25 officials for accepting the gifts and four other officials for dereliction of duty.

The developer was later disqualified from the commercial project for not having proper land use and construction permits.

The Wolong district government has denied beng involved in the hiring of the “AIDS demolition team.”

Sources: Xinhua News, Dahe (大河网), Wall Street Journal, Beijing News (新京报)


Hui Zhi is the Senior Manager for Content with the China Compliance Digest, where a version of this post first appeared.