n the conclusion of a stunning fall from power, the former president of Interpol has been sentenced to 13 and a half years in prison on corruption charges.
Once the world’s top cop, Meng Hongwei, 66, infamously “disappeared” during a trip to China in late 2018, only to be announced a short time later as under investigation by the Communist Party’s anti-corruption watchdog. Soon enough, Interpol said that it had receivedMeng’s resignationas the head of the international policing organization.
He had been (controversially) elected to that post in 2016. His various titles in China included vice minister of public security and director of the coast guard.
After a few months of mostly silence on Meng’s disappearance/detention, China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) announced last March that he had beenthrown out of the Communist Partyin a statement that accused him of abusing his power to finance his family’s extravagant lifestyle, completely losing his party consciousness, and refusing to implement the decisions of the CPC Central Committee.
Meng had been splitting his time between China and the French city of Lyon, the headquarters of Interpol. His disappearance first made headlines after his wife,reported her husband missing to French police. At a later press conference, she said that the last text message she had received from him was the image of a knife.
In May, Meng’s wife and children were granted asylum in France. That same month, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate,formally filed charges against Meng for exploiting his position of power to secure a “huge amount” of bribes.
Meng went on to plead guilty to illegally accepting money and gifts worth more than 14.46 million yuan ($2.1 million). On Tuesday, the First Intermediate People’s Court of Tianjin sentenced him to 13.5 years in prison and fined him 2 million yuan ($290,000).