BEIJING: Former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei, who was detained on a visit to China in 2018, was sentenced on Tuesday to more than 13 years in prison for bribery in a case that shook the international police organisation.

Meng — a former vice minister of public security — is among a growing group of Communist Party cadres caught in President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign, which critics say has also served as a way to remove the leader’s political enemies.

He vanished during a visit to China from France, where Interpol is based, and was later accused of accepting bribes and expelled from the Communist Party.

His wife was granted political asylum in France last year, after saying she was afraid she and her two children would be the targets of kidnapping attempts.

The 66-year-old was sentenced to 13 years and six months in prison and fined two million yuan RMB ($290,000), said the Tianjin First Intermediate People’s Court on Tuesday.

At his trial last June, Meng pleaded guilty to accepting $2.1 million in bribes, after the court said he used his status and positions to “seek improper benefit”, illegally acquire property and accumulate bribes.

The court statement on Tuesday said that some of the “stolen money and stolen goods could not be recovered”.

Pictures from the court showed a grim-faced Meng standing in front of a judge, flanked by two police officers.

Meng had “truthfully confessed to all the criminal facts” and would not appeal the decision, the court said.

Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2020