Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Ex-Interpol chief under probe for bribery, China ministry says

Meng under investigation: China breaks silence on Interpol director disappearance China says Interpol chief Meng Hongwei is under investigation
| 08 October, 2018, 11:47

Mr Meng, 64, was named to the post of Interpol president in late 2016, part of a broader Chinese effort to gain leadership positions in key worldwide organisations.

Meng Hongwei has deep ties to China's sprawling domestic security sector, including a lengthy term as vice minister of public security.

The Interpol statement did not say exactly why Meng resigned. It did not say why.

The French ministry said on Friday that Mr Meng's family had not heard from him since 25 September.

"The investigation against Meng Hongwei's taking and giving bribes and suspected violations of law is very timely, absolutely correct and rather wise", the ministry said in a statement following an internal meeting.

"Interpol has requested through official law enforcement channels clarification from China's authorities on the status of Interpol President Meng Hongwei", Jurgen Stock, the secretary-general of the worldwide police body said in a statement.

Meng, also serves as China's vice minister of public security, and his resignation came hours after China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection announced he had been detained while under investigation for possible criminal activity.

The Communist Party's corruption unit said Mr Meng, who is also China's vice minister of public security, is "suspected of violating the law and is now under the monitoring and investigation" of the body.

She says she has had no further contact with him since the message that was sent on September 25.

In her first public comments on her husband's mysterious disappearance, Grace Meng said her husband sent her an image of a knife before he went missing.

"This is the last, last message from my husband", she said.


Ms Meng said he used his Interpol phone to send her an emoji image of a knife that day, four minutes after he sent a message saying: "Wait for my call".

Meng Hongwei, president of Interpol, gives an address at the opening of the Interpol World Congress in Singapore on July 4, 2017. He was head or deputy head of branches of the coast guard, and in 2016, he was elected Interpol's president.

China would have been well aware of those risks before acting in the way it did, Beijing-based political commentator Zhang Lifan said.

Soon after the CCDI made public Meng's status, Grace Meng, who first learned about the development from the AP, said she was struggling to believe what it said.

She issued an emotional plea for worldwide help to find her husband.

While Meng's "disappearance" first made global news on Friday.

"As long as I can't see my husband in front of me, speaking to me, I can't have any confidence", Mrs Meng was quoted as saying by French TV stations and Sunday newspapers.

Grace Meng asked journalists not to show her face as feared for her own safety and the safety of her two children.

French police launched an investigation to find him.

The Chinese effort to track down corrupt officials overseas, known as Operation Fox Hunt, has led to claims in some countries that Chinese law enforcement agents have been operating covertly on their soil without the approval or consent of local authorities.

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