In 2019, a young Hui woman from Jiangsu Province was arrested on suspicion of blackmailing public officials. The then 24-year-old woman has been identified as Xu Yan, an auxiliary police officer. According to court papers, Xu Yan had sex with a bunch of public officials including one school principal, one chairman of a government organisation, one deputy director of a hospital, two deputies at a local police station and two police chiefs. The total amount she had managed to extort from the men came up to 37.26 million RMB.
The timeline for Xu Yan’s game of extortion is as follows:
2014-2015 (age 19-20) 1 million from police chief Sun, 100,000 from police chief Zhu.
2016 (age 21) 20,000 from police chief Liu, 200,000 from deputy Kou, 100,000 from Chairman Chen and 450,000 from school principal Mr Guan.
2017 (age 22) 160,000 from Mr Lin, 298,000 from Mr Xu (appointments unknown) and 150,000 from deputy hospital director Lan.
2018-2019 (age 23-24) 1.08 million from police chief Liu (again?).
According to the CCP, the 7 public service officers involved in the scandal have been disciplined by the Party, but their identities were never made public and the public was none the wiser. In December 2020, Xu Yan was sentenced to 13 years’ jail and a fine of 5 million RMB. She was also ordered to return the unlawful gains.
The case aroused the suspicion of many Chinese netizens. How could a 19-year-old rookie in the police force extort money from married police chiefs decades her senior ? Why did these experienced, high ranking police officers wait for years before accusing her of extortion?
Some suspect that she was raped, seduced and then “compensated” with cash. Others proposed that she was simply a kept woman who received her allowances from the men she had slept with. Perhaps the philanderers suddenly decided that they had better use for their money or as some netizens put it, sleep for free.
A lawyer posted the verdict and pointed out the flaws on his Weibo posting and within minutes, received a call from the police to delete it. He argued that the verdict was a public statement. The police informed him that it was no longer a public statement. When he tried searching for it after the call from the police, he found that the verdict on the case had indeed been deleted. How strange. Somebody suddenly realised how flawed the conclusion was?
There were also calls for the men’s identities to be made public. They were public service officers. How could they afford to pay Xu Yan hundreds of thousands and in some cases, even a million? Shouldn’t they be investigated for corruption? Perhaps the verdict of extortion was a way to cover up for these officers. Anyway, Xu Yan had appealed against her conviction. Nevertheless, nobody is hopeful here. Some even speculated that Xu Yan may be found dead in prison one day.