Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Former President of Interpol to spend 13 years in prison for bribery


The former president of Interpol has been sentenced to more than a decade in prison. Meng Hongwei, the first Chinese national to assume the presidency of the France-based international law enforcement organization, received his 13 1/2-year sentence for corruption Tuesday in a Chinese courtroom.

Meng pleaded guilty last year to using his position in China to finagle more than $2 million in bribes between 2005 and 2017. Prior to his 2016 election as Interpol president, he served more than a decade as China’s vice minister of public security.

Meng’s prison sentence caps a time in the international public eye that was about as dramatic and tortuous as it was brief.

Elected partly on the strength of his record of combating graft in China, Meng nevertheless elicited plenty of skepticism from critics who feared that his position would enable China to more readily use Interpol as a means of pursuing dissidents abroad. An Amnesty International official, for instance, found the results of the election “extraordinarily worrying.”

- Advertisement -

At the time of his election, Meng declared, “I am a veteran policeman. And I stand ready to do everything I can toward the cause of policing in the world.”

Still, Meng didn’t last long into his four-year term atop the agency based in Lyon, France. Within two years, the Interpol chief went missing — disappearing in late September 2018 after departing France for a trip to his native China.

The cause of his disappearance soon became clear: Chinese authorities had detained him on corruption charges. Roughly a week after Meng was detained, Interpol announced that its briefly tenured president had resigned.

Kim Jong Yang of South Korea, the agency’s senior vice president, stepped into Meng’s role immediately and was formally elected by its General Assembly one month later.

- Advertisement -

The presidency of Interpol is a part-time, unpaid affair tasked with overseeing the General Assembly of the agency, which boasts the membership of 194 countries. The Interpol president works with the secretary general — currently Jürgen Stock, in his second appointed term — who is responsible for implementing the decisions of the General Assembly and guiding the organization’s day-to-day affairs.

Now, more than two years after Meng’s stunning fall, the former Interpol president represents one of the most prominent targets of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign. The years-long crackdown has seen the arrest and imprisonment of a number of high-ranking officials in the Chinese security, intelligence and administrative apparatus — prompting controversy over whether the drive is a sincere attempt to root out corruption from the ruling Communist Party or a cynical bid to remove obstacles to Xi’s consolidation of power.

Meng’s wife, Grace, believes her husband’s arrest indicates the latter.

“It’s not justice,” she told The Guardian during a 2018 interview in Lyon. “I can tell you this because I am sitting here [in France]; other people can’t tell the truth. I think the anti-corruption campaign in China has already been damaged. It has become a way of attacking people who are your enemy.”

She has sued the international police agency for failing to protect Meng and his family and for being complicit in China’s “wrongful acts” against her husband.

Meng Hongwei, for his part, says he has accepted the verdict in China and will not appeal, according to China’s state-run Global Times newspaper.


Ex-managers of Security firm pleads guilty in Santa Clara County concealed gun permit bribery scandal

Two former managers of a Silicon Valley international security firm pleaded guilty Monday to charges related to a bribery scheme to obtain concealed firearms...

Ohio former House Speaker Larry Householder to stand for reelection amid bribery charges

Republican Rep. Larry Householder’s name will be on the ballot Election Day as the disgraced Ohio lawmaker intends to serve his district for another...

Billionaire Robert Smith to Pay $140 million after admitting to tax evasion

Billionaire Robert Smith will pay about $140 million and acknowledge wrongdoing to end a four-year U.S. tax investigation involving assets held in offshore tax...

Mexico’s ex-army chief arrested in US on charges of drug trafficking, money laundering

Former Mexican Defense Secretary Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, who led the country’s armed forces for six years under then-President Enrique Peña Nieto, has been arrested...

Texas billionaire Robert Brockman charged in $2 billion tax evasion case

Robert Brockman, the Houston billionaire and CEO of a software company, has been charged with taking $2 billion through a scheme to evade taxes,...

Latest News

This Week

Chess grandmaster banned for cheating in competition

A disgraced chess grandmaster, banned from tournaments after he was caught cheating by using a phone while sitting on a toilet, has been seen...

Liberian President seeks US help over death of auditors linked to £100m corruption scandal

The suspicious deaths of four finance officials in Liberia have raised fears of a murder plot linked to corruption scandals that include the disappearance...

Federal prosecutors seek 24-30 months in prison for ex-Cincinnati Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard in bribery case

Because of the seriousness of the bribery scheme in which she was involved, former Cincinnati Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard should go to federal prison for 24 to...

Medical device maker Merit Medical agrees to pay $18m to settle false claims

Medical device maker Merit Medical Systems Inc. (MMSI), of South Jordan, Utah, has agreed to pay $18 million to resolve allegations that the company...

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks