Meng Hongwei, the former head of Interpol, is convicted of bribery and will be prosecuted for such charges, according to China’s Communist Party.
Meng, who disappeared back on September 25, has prompted international concern. Apart from the charges, he’s also expelled from the Communist Party and have all of his government positions revoked.
According to the authorities, Meng was accepting brides and using the funds of the government to supply his “extravagant lifestyle”. The party’s watchdog stated that Meng Hongwei has seriously violated the political rules and discipline set by the party. And as such, he should be dealt with accordingly. In spite of the allegations, China is yet to present any evidence.
Meng served as the vice-minister of public ministry until 2016, with over 40 years of experience in the Chinese criminal justice system. Needless to say, he certainly has a wide knowledge regarding senior Communist Party officials.
While working under the Communist Party, Meng oversaw a number of security organizations including the counterterrorism division and the armed police force.
In November 2016, he was elected as the president of Interpol, making him the first-ever Chinese to be in such a high-ranking position. His job was mostly ceremonial, and he’s not even required to return to his homeland often.
Interpol presidents are supported by their national administrations and are to remain in their home post while continuing to represent the international policing body. The Interpol, which is a collective organization of 194 countries, whose job is mainly focused on looking for missing or wanted individuals, is run on a daily basis by its secretary general who is currently Juergen Stock, a German national.
After Meng was appointed as Interpol’s presidents, a number of human rights groups are concerned about the possibility that Beijing might leverage his position in order to pursue dissidents abroad. This isn’t surprising, as China has been known to press various countries to deport its citizens who have been convicted of various crimes involving corruption and terrorism.
However, following his disappearance in China, Interpol has received a resignation letter, hereby ending Meng’s leadership term which was supposed to be due in 2020.
Meng is just one of the few officials who get into trouble with the anti-corruption campaign implemented by President Xi Jinping, with his case prompting international attention on China’s legal system.
Just days ago, former head of internet censorship in China, Lu Wei, was convicted of bribery and received 14-year imprisonment.
Meanwhile, Meng’s wife, Grace, applied for asylum in Interpol’s base of operations in France, after allegedly receiving threats against her family. According to her, the last time she communicated with his husband was the exact same day he disappeared, further stating that he sent her a message that has a knife emoji.
Grace Meng has already appealed to French President Emmanuel Macron regarding her husband’s case and to discuss it with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit. As of now, Meng’s case is under the legislation of China’s state prosecutor office.