Interpol chief Meng Hongwei resigns; China confirms it has detained him

Wife of missing Interpol president says he sent her a photo of a knife

Wife of missing Interpol president says he sent her a photo of a knife

Paris - Interpol says it has received the resignation of Meng Hongwei, the Chinese president of the global police organization who went missing one week ago. It also hinted at a political dimension by stating Meng was being probed because of his own "willfulness and for bringing trouble upon himself".

The National Supervisory Commission, which handles corruption cases involving public servants, said in a statement that Meng "is now under investigation on suspicion of violating the law".

The Chinese government statement on Monday said that Meng's fall highlighted President Xi Jinping's resolve in cleaning up the ruling Communist Party and stressed the importance of political loyalty to the Party's leadership under Xi.

Meng has resigned "with immediate effect" and Senior Vice President Kim Jong Yang of South Korea has become acting president, Interpol said.

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.

Last week, his wife, Grace Meng, reported him as missing to French police, explaining that she had not heard from her husband since he arrived in China the week before.

The French Interior Ministry on Saturday said Grace Meng and her children have been placed under protective custody after they received threats. She says four minutes before Meng shared the image, he had sent a message saying, "Wait for my call".

She gave a statement about her husband's disappearance at a hotel in Lyon, while keeping her back to the camera's to hide her face as a safety precaution, The New York Times reported.

Meng Hongwei, president of Interpol, giving a speech in 2017.

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While Meng is listed on the website of China's Ministry of Public Security as a vice-minister, he lost his seat on its Communist Party Committee - its real decision-making body - in April, the Post reported.

Meng was appointed Interpol president in 2016 and was due to serve until 2020.

Interpol, or the International Criminal Police Organization, assists police in its 192 member countries to work together on matters of international crime.

In the role Meng has been entrusted with a number of sensitive portfolios, including heading up the country's counter-terrorism division, which saw him in charge of the response to several major incidents in China's fractious western region of Xinjiang.

It wasn't clear why Meng, 64, who was named Interpol's president two years ago, had traveled to China. "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", he said.

One of them loves horses, she said, and the other "looks like the bear".

China announced last night that the president of Interpol, who is one of its citizens and who vanished while on a trip home last month, had been arrested by its anti-corruption agency.

Interpol has downplayed the concerns, saying the president has little influence over the organisation's day-to-day operations, which are handled by secretary-general Stock, a German.

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