Yao Gang, ex-deputy chief of top China securities regulator, charged with bribery

accused of insider trading, taking advantage of his position and accepting a large amount of money and gifts

HONG KONG, HONG KONG - June 30: A member of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) stands guard in front of a billboard of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Shek Kong Barracks on June 30, 2018 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Hong Kong will mark 21 years since its return to Chinese sovereignty from British rule on Sunday as thousands of people are expected to turn up for an annual rally to demand full democracy and vent their frustration over the soaring accommodation costs in the world's most expensive city for expatriates. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

The former deputy head of China's top securities regulator has been charged with taking bribes and insider trading, state media reported Thursday.

Yao Gang, a former vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), was sacked in December 2015 for "severe disciplinary violations" as part of a probe of the financial sector after a spectacular market meltdown.

The term normally refers to graft.

Chinese authorities launched a wave of investigations targeting the financial sector in late 2015 after a debt-fuelled stock market bubble burst that summer in a rout that wiped out trillions of dollars in market capitalisation.

Prosecutors have now filed indictments against Mr Yao, Xinhua news agency said Thursday, citing the Supreme People's Procuratorate.

Mr Yao is accused of insider trading, taking advantage of his position and accepting a large amount of money and gifts.

After soaring 150 per cent in one year, Shanghai stocks went into a tailspin in June 2015, tumbling nearly 40 per cent in a few weeks despite seriouseintervention by the authorities.

Former CSRC head Xiao Gang, who was in charge during the crash, was dismissed in February 2016.

The prosecution of Mr Yao comes as part of a sweeping anti-corruption campaign under President Xi Jinping.

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