China's 'Sister House' denies fake-ID charges
CHINA'S state media said a former Chinese banking official, who amassed a real-estate empire under multiple fake identities, is standing trial for forgery and trading in forged official documents.
Gong Aiai, who allegedly accumulated 45 properties worth US$160 million (S$200 million), is known as "Sister House" among the Chinese public.
Xinhua News Agency said Gong's trial opened yesterday.
The former deputy president of a rural bank in the northern province of Shaanxi denied the charges against her and argued that she was unaware that it is illegal to possess multiple hukou IDs - a household registration record unique to each Chinese citizen - but apologised for her behaviour, news site crienglish.com reported.
It said that four former government employees are also on trial for their role in the alleged wrongdoing. Calls to the Jingbian County People's Court went unanswered.
Gong's ability to obtain multiple identities is central to the case, suggesting corruption among police, who register residences and issue identification cards.
The case has fuelled public calls for asset disclosure by officials.