Ex-deputy head of China securities regulator faces graft charges

Beijing (AFP) –


The former deputy head of China's top securities regulator has been charged with taking bribes and insider trading, state media reported Thursday.

Yao Gang, a former vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), was sacked in December 2015 for "severe disciplinary violations" as part of a probe of the financial sector after a spectacular market meltdown.

The term normally refers to graft.

Chinese authorities launched a wave of investigations targeting the financial sector in late 2015 after a debt-fuelled stock market bubble burst that summer in a rout that wiped out trillions of dollars in market capitalisation.

Prosecutors have now filed indictments against Yao, Xinhua news agency said Thursday, citing the Supreme People's Procuratorate.

Yao is accused of insider trading, taking advantage of his position and accepting a large amount of money and gifts.

After soaring 150 percent in one year, Shanghai stocks went into a tailspin in June 2015, tumbling nearly 40 percent in a few weeks despite massive intervention by the authorities.

Former CSRC head Xiao Gang, who was in charge during the crash, was dismissed in February 2016.

The prosecution of Yao comes as part of a sweeping anti-corruption campaign under President Xi Jinping.