Jian'an City Mayor's Office.
Two black Audi A6's with the license prefix of the Fujian Province stopped in front of the building.
At this time, Municipal Committee's Secretary, Liu Jianguo, the Mayor of Jian'an City, Fang Liping, the Deputy Mayor, and many other officials from the building arrived outside to welcome the people of the Special Investigation Committee sent by the Provincial Public Security Bureau and the Anti-Corruption Bureau.
"Hello… Old Zhu, it's you! I was wondering who the Anti-Corruption Bureau might send, and it turns out to be you…"
As soon as the door of the vehicle opened and the personnel sent by the Anti-Corruption Bureau stepped out, the Municipal Committee's Secretary immediately recognized him and went forward to shake hands with him while wearing a grin on his face. Like that, the two exchanged greetings.
"Who else could it be? Old Liu, our Chief said that since I was from Jian'an City and have quite some understanding of the happenings around here, it would only be right to send me over for the investigation this time."
Zhu Li was a high-ranking member of the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Fujian Province, and this time, he had been sent as the leader of the team sent by the Anti-Corruption Bureau to Jian'an City. Zhu Li had previously worked in the Jian'an Anti-Corruption Committee. Back then, he used to be it's Director, while Liu Jianguo was still the Director of the Finance Bureau. Afterwards, Zhu Li steadily climbed the bureaucratic ladder and soon became a high-ranking official in the Fujian Province's Provincial Anti-Corruption Bureau.
'This is bad! Why did the Provincial Anti-Corruption Bureau have to send him out here for this time's investigation?'
Seeing how chummy Liu Jianguo and Zhu Li were, Fang Liping felt threatened in her heart. She was well aware of the fact that Liu Jianguo had been good friends with the former Director of Jian'an's Anti-Corruption Bureau.
"Mayor Fang, we have made you wait; there was a traffic jam on the road that delayed us a bit!"
From the other car, the Deputy Director of the Provincial Public Security Bureau, Zheng Liangbo alighted. Unexpectedly, he took the initiative to greet Fang Liping on his own.
"Deputy Director Zheng? How come you have personally arrived?"
Fang Liping was surprised to see Zheng Liangbo there. She didn't think the Provincial Public Security Bureau would send their Deputy Director, just like the Anti-Corruption Bureau. But now that Zheng Liangbo was here, Fang Liping felt a little better in her heart. (TL: That Zhu Li is also a Deputy Director of his Bureau.)
After all, Fang Liping was quite familiar with Deputy Director Zheng Liangbo. Not only was she on good terms with him, but Zheng Liangbo was also someone who had taught her late husband.
"My old bones had been itching to get some fresh air outside, so when I heard there was some big case in your city, I volunteered to come out here and help with the investigation. I could finally relax from the never-ending work over in the Bureau, and even conveniently got an opportunity to come see you."
Zheng Liangbo was already over the age of 60. His hair had long started to fall, leaving him half bald. With the appearance of a cheerful old grandfather, he looked as if he couldn't harm any human or animal alike. But only a few would know that the now Deputy Director of the Provincial Public Security Bureau was once known as the nation's best police officer.
The Special Investigation Committee this time consisted of men sent by the Provincial Public Security Bureau and the Provincial Anti-Corruption Bureau. Oftentimes, the work of the two Bureau's was interlinked, even though the responsibilities they performed were different. Moreover, the reason they sent Zhu Li and Zheng Liangbo this time was simply because the two had good relationships with Liu Jianguo and Fang Liping respectively.
"Good! Good! Deputy Director Zheng has also arrived in our city. Welcome! The wind outside sure is strong… Hurry, let's all of us go inside the Mayor's office, and then we can sit down to talk slowly."
Liu Jianguo said unhurriedly, feeling immensely secure. It was as if the entire case had nothing to do with him. But this wasn't his domain, so he naturally had to be cordial with the master of the place (Fang Liping) and welcome the two guests of the Special Investigation Committee.
"How's everything going, Liping? I listened to the report you submitted… Your Public Security Bureau here sure is fierce, they actually uprooted the entire Dragon-Tiger Gang and their old ghosts? I heard you also uncovered the Accounts Book that recorded all of their shady transactions! The scope of this case is so great that even the Provincial Public Security Bureau and the Provincial Anti-Corruption Bureau had to get involved and send down a Special Investigation Committee."
As they all walked inside, Zheng Liangbo naturally walked beside Fang Liping and talked to her in a low voice.
"That's right, Uncle Zheng! This time, I am confident we will be able to catch all the involved parties in a single swoop. So long as we recover the Accounts Book, we will have conclusive evidence and none of them will be able to escape. Today is the day I have been waiting for all these years. It's time Liu Jianguo and his cronies paid for the crimes they have committed. Zemin's enmity, I shall certainly avenge!"
When in private, Fang Liping was used to calling Zheng Liangbo as Uncle Zheng. Her jaws were tightly clenched together as she finished her words.
"That will be difficult! You see how Zhu Li from the Anti-Corruption Bureau has a really good relationship with Liu Jianguo, so if you don't provide solid evidence, we won't be able to do anything. It's not easy for me to meddle with these matters, and the most I will be able to help you with is pressuring them a bit. You are aware how only the Anti-Corruption Bureau can deal with these politicians-cum-bureaucrats."
Zheng Liangbo sighed. Over the years, he had seen many similar matters. He was once also full with the sense of justice, and after spending 30-40 years in the Public Security Bureau, he had finally risen to the rank of a Provincial Deputy Director from the position of an ordinary criminal police officer. Over the years, he had seen far too many corrupt officials, but just because they couldn't produce enough evidence, many had gotten away unscathed.
"Uncle Zheng, be relaxed! I will call our criminal police' vice squad leader, and he will soon be here with all the evidence and documents."
Saying that, Fang Liping went to the side, took out her phone, and dialed Yan Longyong's number.
"Hello! I am Fang Liping; Chief Yan, how is it going over on your side? The Special Investigation Committee sent by the Provincial Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Provincial Public Security Bureau have already arrived at my office, so please you bring all the evidence and related documents concerning the case over here so it can be reported to the leadership of the Provincial Committee."
"Mayor Fang, I have failed in fulfilling my mission. Although we caught the intruders who broke into Su Lin's house… The Accounts Book has already been burnt to ash by them. The key evidence… We have nothing now…"
As he received Fang Liping's call, Yan Longyong couldn't help but report to her awkwardly.
"What? The Accounts Book was burnt?!" Fang Liping's heart went cold as soon as she heard the news. In her heart, she was 90% sure that this matter was the reason why Liu Jianguo had been so arrogant when threatening her before. It was because he had already gotten his hands on the Accounts Book and destroyed all evidence!
"Chief Yan, no matter what's happened, please gather all the evidence and remains, take the intruders into your custody, and gather all the oral confessions and other materials and head over to the Mayor's office. We can talk about everything here!"
Anxious, Fang Liping tried to come up with some sort of solution to the matter, but first, she had to ask Yan Longyong to arrive here with all the evidence that they still had.
"Understood! Mayor Fang, our criminal police department has already gathered all the oral confessions from the people involved, and there's a lot of evidence and people involved in this. But the evidence concerning Liu Jianguo and his other high-ranking cronies isn't much, and everything was dependent on that Accounts Book. But now that Accounts Book is gone, it won't be easy to convict them with the little evidence we do have!"
"You should get here first, and then we can talk. We can only try our best after that."
Fang Liping hung the phone with a depressed sigh. She had never thought that even after all the planning they put into the operation, they would have such an accident at the last moment. No wonder Liu Jianguo had been so arrogant today. It was because he already knew the Accounts Book had been destroyed. There was a high chance he was the one who sent those intruders to Su Lin's house.
"Chief Yan, what will happen now? Now that the Accounts Book is gone, what are we going to do?"
As they stood at the scene, Su Lin couldn't help but ask worriedly. If they couldn't thoroughly root out Liu father and son's influence from Jian'an City, there was no way his family would be able to remain in Jian'an without incident. At that point, Liu father and son will definitely target his family openly and covertly.
"Su Lin, I am sorry, but I need to hurry over to the Mayor's office with all the evidence and material we do have left. The Special Investigation Committee sent by the Provincial Authorities is already here, and I need to report to them as soon as possible. Alas! Now that we don't have the Accounts Book, the rest of the evidence in our hands won't be enough to convict the bigger corrupt officials who are the root of the entire matter!"
Yan Longyong's complexion wasn't very good. They had spent a long time planning for this operation, but now, they were returning without any good results. It was akin to having wasted all of their efforts. And although they had caught a lot of people from the Dragon-Tiger Gang, their Brother Dragon was still out at large, and it won't be long before they make another gang like the Dragon-Tiger Gang, with the help of those corrupt officials, like Liu Jianguo, supporting them from the shadows.
"Accounts Book! Accounts Book! Chief Yan, will it be enough as long as we have the records of all the transactions listed on that Accounts Book? Or do we actually need the original copy of the Accounts Book for it to be acceptable?"
Su Lin was also distressed over the loss of the Accounts Book and didn't know what to do. At this time, the pages of the Accounts Book were flipping in his mind. Those were the ones recorded by his Eidetic Memory when he had looked inside the Accounts Book back in the Dragon-Tiger Gang's underground base. He had turned every single page of the Accounts Book to take a look back then, and now that he tried to recall, he realized that all the records had been imprinted in his mind, page by page.
"The Accounts Book itself doesn't have much significance; what we want are the transactions recorded in it! It's because those transaction details are very thorough, and record the amount of bribe, account number, and the time of transaction. There's even information about the shipment of matters, vehicles used, and the other important details. As long as we have that information, we can easily investigate and verify it. That would then be conclusive evidence, making it impossible for them to get away from the grasp of justice!"
Yan Longyong answered him while ordering his men to gather everything and prepare to head out, "But now, the original Accounts Book with all that information has been destroyed. It's not hard to verify all the evidence and trades, and even a copy of the Accounts Book would be enough as evidence. Su Lin, I must now hurry over to the Mayor's office as we need to come up with a contingency plan for unseen events. I will ask two policemen of our criminal police squad to assure the safety of your family and you."
"Chief Yan, bring me along with you!"
As he heard Yan Longyong's words, a confident smile appeared on Su Lin's face as he said, "Chief Yan, bring me along! I am confident I can help you topple those corrupt officials."
"What? Su Lin, you want to come along? But what use would it be even if I brought you along?"
Yan Longyong said doubtfully, "At that time, we will be dealing with the Provincial leadership, and you won't have any opportunity to even speak there. And even though you are someone who has seen the Accounts Book and can go there as witness, just your testimony alone won't have much persuasive power there. Now that the Accounts Book is lost…"
"Chief Yan, just bring me along! Believe me, the Accounts Book is completely in my brain!"
A confident smile appeared on Su Lin's face as he said, "At that time, when I obtained the Accounts Book, I had curiously flipped through the entire thing, and I clearly remember the entire book, with all its records."
"You remember the entire contents of the Accounts Book?" Yan Longyong didn't believe his words and questioned, "Impossible! The situation back then had been so urgent, so how much of the Accounts Book could you have looked at? How much could you have remembered? That's impossible!"
"Chief Yan, we don't have the time to get into the details of how I remember. We should hurry up and board the car. If you don't believe me, you can give me a pen and a notebook, and I will make sure to return all the records of the Accounts Book to you in their original shape!"
Saying that, Su Lin led Yan Longyong into boarding the police car they had arrived on.