How One Policeman Got Burned

In March, told a State Council conference that corruption is “the most crucial threat” to Party rule; this month, wrote in The New York Times that because of it, “no roads are straight” in China. Caixin examines one particular case, in which a high-ranking drug squad officer in Hunan was stripped of his position after relentlessly pursuing a case in which his fellow policemen were apparently involved.

On March 17, 2012, the Public Security Bureau in Chenzhou, in the central province of , said it was removing Huang Bailian as head of its drug squad.

Huang’s explanation for the move was simple: “This is retaliation.”

Three years earlier Huang, who is 48 years old and a 25-year veteran of the police force, cracked what he thought was a large case. However, before the case could be handed to prosecutors, his classification of it was changed to clear one suspect. Furthermore, some of the drugs seized during his arrests quickly went missing.

Evidence of the theft pointed to a subordinate of Huang’s, Wang Bin. Furthermore, there were suspicions that Wang and Huang Bailian’s boss, vice-captain of the drug squad Huang Zhongxiang, were protecting traffickers.