Beijing: China has formally arrested Interpol’s former chief Meng Hongwei, who previously worked as Vice-Minister of public security, for corruption and misuse of power, prosecutors said here, Wednesday.
China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate said prosecutors decided to arrest Meng on suspicion of accepting bribes. His case was transferred to procurators for investigation and prosecution after a probe by the National Supervisory Commission, it added.
Meng, 65, who was once a rising political star among officialdom of the Communist Party of China (CPC), was a vice-minister before being appointed as China’s first official to head the Interpol – a global organisation that facilitates worldwide police cooperation.
Last month, Meng was sacked from all his official positions and expelled from the ruling Communist Party for serious disciplinary violations and suspected graft crimes. The decision to expel him was announced by the party’s disciplinary watchdog and national supervisory commission.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) accused Meng of abusing his position and power for personal gain, squandering state funds to finance his family’s extravagant lifestyle, and disregarding the principles of being a party member.
Meng was also accused of encouraging his wife to use his status to further her own interests. He was last heard September 25, 2018 after leaving his home in the French city of Lyon bound for China.
Meng sent his wife Grace Meng a message on social media, telling her to ‘wait for my call’, along with a knife emoji which suggested he was in some kind of danger.
Grace reported her husband missing to the French authorities, October 4 and was later put under police protection after receiving threatening messages over telephone and online. Earlier this year, she applied for asylum in France.
Interpol issued a request October 6 to the Chinese government for information on Meng’s whereabouts and the CCDI replied the following day, saying he had been detained in connection with an investigation into alleged corruption. Confirming his detention, the Chinese Ministry of public security, October 8, 2018 said that he is being probed for bribery and other crimes but did not elaborate.