Meng Hongwei, the former head of Interpol, has been expelled from China’s Communist Party and sacked from official positions.
The decision was announced by the country’s anti-corruption watchdog on Wednesday.
Meng, who served as the vice-minister of public security, vanished last September during a visit to China from France and was later accused of accepting bribes.
“Meng Hongwei has no party principles … does not report personal matters in accordance with regulations … and refuses to implement the decision of the Party Central Committee,” the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a statement.
He also used state assets to support his family’s lavish lifestyle while abusing his position, the CCDI stated, adding that he “illegally accepted huge amounts of property from others.”
“Meng Hongwei seriously violated the party’s political discipline and political rules … seriously tarnished the party’s image, seriously damaged national interest … and should be seriously dealt with,” the statement added.
The case has been handed over to the state prosecutor’s office, and his “illegal income” has been confiscated.
Meng, the first Chinese chief of Interpol, had risen through the ranks of the country’s feared security apparatus.
He had a 14-year career overseeing various top public security bureaux in China, including the country’s armed police force.
As vice-security minister, Meng had been entrusted with a number of sensitive portfolios, including the country’s counter-terrorism division, and was in charge of the response to violence in the country’s fractious northwestern region of Xinjiang.
News of Meng’s sacking came just a day after the country’s former head of internet censorship, Lu Wei, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for bribery.
Meng and Lu are part of a growing group of Communist Party cadres caught in President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign, which critics claim has served as a way to remove his political enemies.
In October, the country’s public security bureau linked Meng’s detention to a broader initiative to “completely remove the pernicious influence” of Zhou Yongkang, a former security tsar, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2015 for bribery, abuse of power and leaking state secrets.
So far, more than one million officials have been punished during Xi’s six-year presidential reign.
Last week, Meng’s wife Grace urged French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss her husband’s case with Xi during his official visit to Paris, which ended on Tuesday.
In her written appeal, she demanded that her husband should be allowed to receive visits from his lawyers.
Since her husband’s arrest, she has remained in Lyon, where Interpol’s headquarters is based, under French police protection. She has also applied for asylum in France and said she fears for her life and that of her twin sons.
– reporting by AFP