Meng Hongwei. Picture: AFP/ROSLAN RAHMAN
Meng Hongwei. Picture: AFP/ROSLAN RAHMAN

Beijing — China has charged former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei with accepting bribes and abusing his position, prosecutors announced Friday.

In a remarkable fall from grace, Meng — who had served as vice minister of public security — vanished last September during a visit to China from France, where Interpol is based, and was later accused of accepting bribes.

Meng had abused his positions as marine police chief and vice minister to illegally obtain “extremely large” amounts of property, the supreme people’s procuratorate said in a statement.

Following an investigation by prosecutors in the eastern city of Tianjin, charges were brought against him in a court in the same city.

“According to the law, he should bear criminal responsibility for accepting bribes,” the statement said.

Meng had earlier been expelled from the Communist Party and stripped of his official positions, as the powerful public security ministry sought to distance itself from him.

In March, the ministry said that Meng’s “poisonous influence” had to be “thoroughly eliminated”, and that it was investigating other party cadres involved in Meng’s case.

Meng resigned from his Interpol post shortly after he was detained in China. He is among a growing group of Communist Party cadres caught in President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign, which critics say has served as a way to remove the leader’s political enemies.

More than one-million officials have been punished so far during Xi’s six-year tenure.