Chinese prosecutors have announced that the missing former president of Interpol Meng Hongwei had been formally arrested in China on suspicion of taking bribes.
The announcement of a formal arrest typically means that an investigation by the anti-corruption watchdog of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been wrapped up and that a prosecution is imminent.
This comes after the CCP’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said in the statement in late March that “Meng Hongwei has zero awareness of the party’s principles and organisational mentality”.
The CCDI also accused Meng of abusing the power of his position to seek special rights and private interests for his wife “to satisfy a lavish family lifestyle”.
On 27 March, Meng was expelled from the CCP and stripped of all his positions for “serious violation of the law and discipline”.
Last October, his wife, Grace Meng, reported to French authorities that her husband, who was serving as the president of Interpol at the time, had gone missing after travelling to China.
Meng was last seen on 25 September after departing his home in the French city of Lyon for China.
The French Interior Ministry stated at the time that the wife and children of Meng Hongwei had been placed under special protection by French police after she received threats via phone and social media.
In a separate development in October 2018, Interpol officially requested clarification from China on the whereabouts of its former President Meng Hongwei, adding that “ Interpol's General Secretariat is looking forward to an official response from China's authorities to address concerns over the president's well-being.”
Meng assumed the Interpol office in November 2016. He has held various positions within China's Ministry of Public Security in his decades-long career.