The son of a high ranking Chinese politician died after engaging in ‘sex games’ with two women while driving at high speed in his Ferrari, according to reports.
The naked body of 23-year-old Ling Gu was pulled from the mangled remains of his £500,000 black Ferrari 458 Spider in March, but Chinese commentators believe the death was kept quiet because his father is an ally and close aide of outgoing President Hu Jintao.
Two women, one of whom was naked and the other semi-naked at the time of the crash, were seriously injured, with one apparently left paralysed from the neck down.
Photos of the accident were immediately shared online, and for months rumours circulated that the trio had been engaged in ‘sex games’ which caused the car to spin out of control.
The name on Ling Gu’s death certificate was reportedly changed to conceal his identity, and the country’s internet censors have deleted numerous micro blog posts mentioning the car crash, as well as blocking searches for the words ‘Ferrari’, ‘Little Ling’ and ‘Prince Ling’.
The alleged cover-up regained widespread media attention again this week, after Ling Gu’s father Ling Jihua, who is responsible for leadership security, was suddenly removed from his job.
There was no official explanation for the move, but many Beijing-based officials are refusing to comment on it, saying it was too sensitive to discuss.
The latest scandal follows the downfall of former leader Bo Xilai, whose wife Gu Kailai was last month convicted of murdering a British businessman.
Gu Kailai was found guilty of poisoning Neil Heywood after a multimillion-dollar business deal went sour, in a case that raised questions over the lavish lifestyles of some of China's top leaders.
Now Ling Gu’s accident is being held up as latest example of wild and decadent behaviour among China’s ‘second generation rich’, which include the often pampered children and close relatives of government officials.
Despite only earning around £6000-a-year from their government roles, these officials and their families often live in a world in nepotism and luxury far out the reach of many in a country where tens of millions still live below the poverty line.
As a result, many Chinese commentators were questioning exactly how Ling Gu, who graduated from a top university last year, was able to afford the marquee sports car in which he lost his life.