Hong Kong investigates ex-chief of anticorruption agency over gifts to Chinese officials

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Hong Kong's corruption watchdog is launching a criminal investigation of its former chief who spent tens of thousands of dollars on gifts for mainland Chinese officials.

The anticorruption agency and the Department of Justice said Tuesday there was "sufficient basis" to open an investigation into allegations of possible bribery and misconduct by Timothy Tong.

Tong was commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption from 2007 to 2012. He came under fire after reports emerged he spent about 218,500 Hong Kong dollars ($28,150) on gifts ranging from pens to crystal models of the agency's headquarters.

Tong is the latest high-profile figure to be ensnared in a corruption case. The scandal adds to fears about the integrity of public officials in the semiautonomous Chinese territory, which prides itself on clean government.