Monday, 22 October, 2018

Interpol president resigns after investigation by China

Wife of missing Interpol president says he sent her a photo of a knife Meng under investigation: China breaks silence on Interpol director disappearance
Glenn Montgomery | 08 October, 2018, 11:45

This comes in the wake of an announcement from China that Meng had been held in the country and was being probed for his alleged involvement in unspecified criminal activities, reported South China Morning Post (SCMP).

Meng Hongwei, the first Chinese president of Interpol, was last heard from on September 25 as he left Lyon for China.

The global policing agency, in a release, said only that its general secretariat received Meng's resignation on Sunday, effective immediately.

The missing president of the police agency Interpol sent his wife an image of a knife immediately before he disappeared in China, which she believes was his way of saying that he was in danger.

It comes as authorities in China said the Interpol president is under investigation on suspicion of breaking the law.

Meng Hongwei was reported missing on Friday after leaving France, where Interpol is based, last month.

Grace Meng covered her face during the news conference because she feared for her safety, the Associated Press reported.

Mr Meng's duties in China would have put him in close proximity to many former leaders, some of whom had come into difficulty with President Xi Jinping's crackdown on corruption.

The first Chinese national to lead Interpol, his election caused controversy at the time, especially among human rights activists. Early in April, Meng had already lost his seat on China's Public Security Ministry's Communist Party Committee (its real decision-making body), although he is still listed on the ministry's website as a deputy minister.

The president of Interpol resigned after being detained by a Chinese anticorruption watchdog, the organization announced Sunday.

"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.

Grace Meng wouldn't speculate Sunday on what might have happened to him.

She kept her back turned to the reporters present, and refused to be photographed out of fear for her safety.

His wife, Grace, told reporters in Lyon, where Interpol is headquartered, that she was concerned after receiving a text message from her husband with a knife emoji. His term as Interpol president runs until 2020.

It's unclear what French police will now do with their investigation into Meng's "disappearance".

Chinese authorities had previously remained tight-lipped about the whereabouts of Meng, following his sudden disappearance last month after he flew from France to China.

Interpol still hasn't confirmed whether or not he was visiting China on agency business. "For the husband whom I deeply love, for my young children, for the people of my motherland, for all the wives and children, so that their husbands and fathers will no longer disappear".

"If what Meng is involved in is nothing more than an ordinary corruption case, there would have been no need for the authorities to handle it in such a manner".

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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