NEW YORK, May 14, 2011 (AFP) – IMF director general Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested Saturday minutes before he was to leave for France, after being accused of a sexual attack on a hotel maid in New York, The New York Times reported.

Strauss-Kahn, widely expected to be a candidate for president of France in 2012, “was taken off an Air France flight by officers from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and turned over to Manhattan detectives, according to a Port Authority spokesman cited by the Times.

“He was accused of a sex attack on a maid at a Times Square hotel earlier in the day,” the report added citing the same authorities.

Strauss-Kahn, who has not announced whether he will seek France’s presidency, was arrested at John F. Kennedy International as he waited for his flight to France to depart.

In Washington, an IMF spokeswoman had no immediate comment.

Strauss-Kahn’s stint at the helm of the International Monetary Fund in Washington does not officially end until September 2012, several months after the scheduled date of France’s vote.

But the French political world has been buzzing with speculation that the man popularly known as DSK would bring a premature end to his tenure and throw his hat in the ring.

Some opinion polls have suggested he would win the vote if he were to run.