Published: Mon, October 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Interpol says Chinese chief Meng has resigned

Interpol says Chinese chief Meng has resigned

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Chinese Communist Party's secretive internal investigation agency, had no announcements on its website about Meng and could not be reached for comment.

Speaking in Lyon, the southeast French city where the global police organisation is based, she said the last social media message she received from her husband came on September 25, depicting a single knife emoji. It did not say why.

The agency issued a statement yesterday demanding "clarification" from China after Mr Meng's disappearance.

A statement on the website of China's National Supervisory Commission said Meng Hongwei "is now under investigation on suspicion of violating the law".

Interpol said South Korean national Kim Jong Yang would becomes its acting president, while it would appoint a new president at a 18-21 November meeting of the organisation in Dubai.

China has admitted that missing Interpol chief Meng Hongwei, who disappeared 12 days ago after sending a message to his wife suggesting he was in danger, is "under investigation" by new government anti-corruption unit.

She told reporters in Lyon that she had not heard from her husband since September 25.

Rights groups previously said that Beijing could use Meng's position to arrest and deport its critics overseas.

Critics of Meng's 2016 election to Interpol's presidency said he would use the position to help China target dissidents overseas under the guise of pursuing corrupt officials.

A statement released by Interpol on Sunday said that Meng had resigned with immediate effect.

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

But the call never came and she said she does not know what happened to her husband, who in recent months appears to have fallen out of favour with the ruling party in Beijing.

Meng's appointment as Interpol president in 2016 alarmed some human rights organisations, fearful it would embolden China to strike out at dissidents and refugees overseas.

The organisation links up police officials from its 192 member states, who can use Interpol to disseminate their search for a fugitive or a missing person.

She said he regularly traveled back and forth between Lyon and China for his job. Some of them might have been pursued by Chinese authorities under Meng's watch.

And though Meng lives with his family Lyon, France, where Interpol is headquartered, he also retained an official role in China as the country's vice minister of public security.

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

She wouldn't speculate on her husband's current whereabouts.

His wife first learned about the party statement from The Associated Press; she said she was struggling to believe what it said.

Under President Xi Jinping, China has been engaged in a crackdown on corruption.

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