haanxi provincial government in Northwest China has recently started a new probe into illegal villa construction in the Qinling Mountains after media coverage of an extravagant real estate
development occupying an area of 9,400 square meters. The villa, built between 2005 and 2008, was owned by the son of a high-ranking official at the provincial level in Shaanxi. To date, several senior officials implicated have been probed or punished for corruption in the illegal villa project. Since 2003, the provincial government has issued several directives banning real estate projects or private villas on the northern part of the Qinling range and conducted several rounds of inspections. In 2014 alone, more than 200 illegal real estate projects were found on the northern section of Qinling and 145 illegal villas were demolished. At least 110 officials were given disciplinary or administrative penalties. In most cases, corrupt officials were found to have been bribed to help companies or individuals access land to construct villas or had deliberately failed to inspect and report the illegal projects.