Bao Lijie, general manager and deputy party chief of Tianjin-based Northern International Trust Co., has been placed under investigation on suspicion of “severe violation in law and discipline,” the Communist Party’s top graft buster said in a brief statement Tuesday.
The watchdog didn’t elaborate on the investigation of Bao, but the phrase often refers to corruption.
Bao, 47, became the general manager of Northern International Trust in 2015 after more than a decade at the company. Established in 1994, Northern International Trust is backed by private investors including Rizhao Steel Holdings Group and Shanghai Zhongtong Ruide Investment Group.
In 2016, Northern International Trust was among a group of financial institutions in the port city hit by the debt crisis of Bohai Steel Group, a Tianjin government-backed steel maker that defaulted on $36 billion of debt. Northern International Trust’s exposure to the now bankrupt Bohai Steel is reportedly more than 1 billion yuan ($144 million).
Last week, the graft watchdog announced an investigation of Yan Zesheng, deputy party secretary and general manager of Bohai Steel, the first probe into the company’s management after its collapse.