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Ex-Interpol chief expelled from China Communist party for 'abuses'

By
Nicholas Sakelaris
Former Interpol President Meng Hongwei has been stripped of his title and expelled from China's Communist Party amid accusations of bribery and abuse of power. File Photo by Interpol/EPA-EFE
Former Interpol President Meng Hongwei has been stripped of his title and expelled from China's Communist Party amid accusations of bribery and abuse of power. File Photo by Interpol/EPA-EFE

March 27 (UPI) -- The former chief of global law enforcement agency Interpol was expelled from China's Communist Party Wednesday and stripped of his titles for abusing power, officials said.

Meng Hongwei was expelled after prosecutors announced they would try him on bribery charges.

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The Central Committee of the Communist Party has also approved an investigation into the 65-year-old Meng, who's also accused of squandering state funds and disregarding Communist Party principles.

Meng made headlines when he disappeared last year, prompting his wife Grace to file a missing persons report not knowing he'd been detained by Chinese authorities. His whereabouts were unknown when the Chinese Ministry of Public Security first started investigating accusations of bribery.

Grace Meng has asked French President Emmanuel Macron to talk about her husband's case with Chinese leader Xi Jinping when the two meet in Paris this week.

Prosecutors say the couple lived an extravagant lifestyle in Lyon, France, when he led Interpol. Meng is also accused of encouraging his wife to gain prominence through his top Interpol post.

Meng's biography page has been deleted from China's counter terrorism website.

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Meng became the first Chinese official to lead Interpol in 2016. He was appointed by former security czar Zhou Yongkang, who's now serving life in prison for bribery. Meng's ouster could affect the chances other Chinese officials might someday lead the agency, experts say.

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