China firemen told to abstain from sexual bribes

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BEIJING, Nov 16 (Reuters) China has banned fire department officials from receiving sexual favours as bribes from companies seeking their business, local media reported today.

Fire department officials were also banned from letting their spouses and children run fire-fighting companies and market fire-fighting products, part of an anti-corruption drive outlined in a notice posted on the Public Security ministry Web site.

Apart from taking cash and ''other valuables'', the order forbade officials from receiving ''cheap or free house renovations'', ''having children entered into schools'' and ''receiving sexual services'' provided by third parties.

''We must remind ourselves that we cannot ignore the problems regarding the opportunism of a minority of officials when enforcing the law,'' the notice said.

A commentary carried by the official Xinhua news agency on Friday praised the order -- officially abbreviated as the ''Four Strictly Forbiddens'' -- as timely.

''For every 10 corrupt officials, nine are involved in illicit sex. This old tune has already been proved by statistics from disciplinary organs many times,'' Xinhua said.

''The people believe that the trade of authority for sex is still comparatively serious,'' the commentary said.

REUTERS SG RK0930

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