In the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, Reuters now reports that two unnamed individuals assert money was the motivation behind his death.

In an exclusive report, Reuters cites two individuals with knowledge of the police investigation who claim Heywood was poisoned after a falling out with Bo Gu Kailai, the wife of one of China’s top Communist Party leaders, Bo Xilai. Bo Gu Kailai reportedly became angry at Heywood after he threatened to reveal her plan to move money abroad. Heywood was found dead in a hotel room in November. Bo Gu Kailai is now in police custody under suspicion of murder and her husband’s once-promising career in the Communist Party has been demolished and his whereabouts are unknown.

China's former Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai (Jason Lee/Reuters)

The Washington Post cannot confirm the report, but the maelstrom around the murder case has consumed China, revealing a fragile underside to the usually tightly stage-managed Communist Party inter-workings.

The Post’s Keith Richburg wrote from Beijing:

The allegations against Bo’s wife mark the first time the downfall of a senior leader has been linked to a premeditated homicide, said Jin Zhong, a longtime China watcher in Hong Kong and editor of Open magazine. “This surpassed anything I could have imagined,” he said. “This is not just a political case but involves a very serious, naked crime.” He is a “princeling” — the son of one of Mao Zedong’s revolutionary allies, Bo Yibo. (His wife, an accomplished lawyer, is also a princeling — her father was Gu Jingsheng, an early revolutionary who served as party chief in Xinjiang.)

Reuters report is the first time a murder motive has been asserted in the Heywood case.

Read more about the case:

Fans of Bo Xilai rally to ousted chief in China

China’s Communist leaders, fearing Bo Xilai’s following, unite over his ouster

China puts on show of might over Bo Xilai’s military allies

China’s Bo Xilai removed from party posts; wife accused in Briton’s death