Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Interpol's missing Chinese chief resigns amid Beijing probe

Interpol's missing Chinese chief resigns amid Beijing probe

Meng also championed greater Chinese involvement in the planning and development of Interpol.

In a terse one line statement Sunday evening, China's ruling Communist Party admitted Meng Hongwei, who also holds the position of vice minister of public security in China, was "under investigation by the National Supervision Commission for alleged violations of laws".

Sunday's statement did not specifically say that Meng had been arrested, or that he remains in China.

The national Commission of oversight, which is investigating the case of Mr. Meng, can keep suspects incommunicado for six months, without warning their families or give them access to a lawyer.

"Today, Sunday 7 October, the INTERPOL General Secretariat in Lyon, France received the resignation of Mr. Meng Hongwei as President of INTERPOL with immediate effect", the tweet said.

In addition to his position at Interpol, Mr. Meng was a vice minister of public security, and he appeared to win promotion as a steady hand managing China's growing worldwide policing interests and priorities. The newspaper cited an unnamed source.

Meng had been reported missing by his wife after traveling last month from France, where Interpol is based, to China.

She told police that she last heard from him 10 days prior and had received threats on social media and by telephone, according to the statement. On Sept, 25, he sent her from China an emoji of a knife - suggesting to her he was in danger.

"We still don't have sufficient information about what's happening (with Meng) or whether it has anything to do with Chinese domestic politics", he added.

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The action against Meng has shown Chinese government's firm resolve to crack down on corruption and crimes and it is also made very clear that this case fully demonstrates that the party is firm in fighting corruption, he said.

French authorities are still trying to determine whether China did indeed, as the mysterious caller menaced, dispatch agents to get to Grace Meng, the wife of Meng Hongwei. Under its terms it has appointed senior vice-president Kim Jong-yang of South Korea as acting president. Facilitating global police cooperation among its 192 members in a world where crime is increasingly transnational and geopolitical relationships are fraught is tough.

Meng was elected Interpol president in November 2016 and he was the first Chinese citizen chosen for the post.

Chinese officials appeared to be scrambling to respond to an unfolding scandal.

He headed the organisation's executive committee, which provides overall guidance and direction. Interpol named him the first Chinese president of the organization in 2016, triggering global human rights concerns given the authoritarian and often arbitrary way the Chinese Communist Party wields power against political dissidents at home. Zhou, 75, is the highest Chinese Communist Party official who served as security chief in the previous Hu Jintao regime to have been punished in the massive anti-corruption campaign by President Xi in which over a million officials were punished since he came to power in 2012.

The Ministry of Public Security is one of the pillars of Communist Party control, and corruption at its top also carries the odor of political betrayal.

"(Meng) insisted on taking the wrong path and had only himself to blame (for his downfall)", the country's top law enforcement official, Zhao Kezhi, was quoted as saying in a statement Monday.

The French government said that a "suitable police mechanism" was put in place to guarantee Grace Meng's safety, and that the prosecutor's office in Lyon has opened an investigation.

Interpol says missing president has resigned after wife reveals ominous message Interpol says missing president has resigned after wife reveals ominous messageGrace Meng told reporters that she had not heard from her husband, Meng Hongwei, since September 25.

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