Chinese investigators say a former deputy governor took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, much of it in carved jade, as part of a trend in recent years involving the use of art and precious stones instead of money to conceal corruption.

Investigators released a report this week saying that Ni Fake, deputy governor of the eastern province of Anhui until his fall last June, traded political favors for premium jade.

Ni is among at least a dozen senior officials who have been ousted since President Xi Jinping became China's leader in November 2012. Xi has made graft fighting a hallmark of his administration.

The report said Ni, a connoisseur of jade, saw the ornamental stones and other artwork as better bribes than cash because they are more covert.