The New York Times today reported that ousted Chinese leader Bo Xilai hooked up a wide-ranging spy system that allowed him to listen in on conversations between top officials, including President Hu Jintao.
If confirmed, the report could help explain why Bo was suddenly dismissed from his position as Communist Party head of the major Chongqing municipality last month, a move that shook up the Bejing's political circles.
Before Bo's removal from office, the high-ranking official was seen as tagged for promotion to the elite Communist Party committee, according to Al Jazeera.
The NYT report, based off anonymous reports from nearly a dozen party sources, claimed that Bo set up an extensive wire-tapping network across Chongqing in what the paper called "a direct challenge to central authorities."
The 68-year-old has not been seen since being dismissed, said the BBC, noting that Chinese reports have not mentioned wire-tapping in reports about the controversial official.
Bo is currently under scrutiny for "serious discipline violations," said Al Jazeera.
His wife, Gu Kailai, has likewise been arrested for her alleged involvement with the mysterious death of Neil Neywood, a British businessman also believed to have helped the couple's son gain admittance to top-notch British schools like Oxford University.
More from GlobalPost: Bo Guagua, son of disgraced Communist leader Bo Xilai, stirs up trouble for his parents
The net appears to be widening, with Bo's brother Bo Xiyong on Thursday resigning as vice-chairman of China Everbright International, according to Al Jazeera.
But the black sheep of the family has turned out to be Bo's son Bo Guagua, a Harvard postgraduate student alleged to be "the most prominent of the younger members of a group known in China as 'princelings,'" according to a report from the university's Harvard Crimson.
The scandals surrounding Bo have spiraled to the extent that he has become a Twitter hashtag, with internet users weighing in on his many crimes. Foreign Policy magazine pointed out some choice #BoXilaiCrimes, but here is a collection of more: