China says detained former Interpol chief is focus of bribery probe

12 October, 2018, 05:54 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Interpol’s missing Chinese chief resigns amid Beijing probe

In her first one-on-one interview since her husband's disappearance in China, the wife of the former head of Interpol described the threatening phone call that prompted authorities in the French city where the global law enforcement agency is headquartered to place her under police protection.

"Meng's sudden disappearance. has clearly undermined China's own efforts and has lent credence to those who said previously that China was not ready to take on such important worldwide leadership roles", said Paul Haenle, Director at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center in Beijing. Chinese authorities say they're investigating him as part of an anti-corruption campaign.

So, to recap: The president of Interpol disappeared in China after sending his wife a creepy, cryptic message, sent a sudden resignation a day later, and now the Chinese government says he's being investigated - by China - for criminal activity.

The Chinese Ministry of Public Security issued a statement Monday that did not state Meng's current location but did take responsibility for his disappearance. The newspaper cited an unnamed source.

One of China's best-known actresses, Fan Bingbing, reappeared following a lengthy disappearance in the past week, admitting to tax evasion and promising to pay a large fine.

Meng was reported missing by his wife in late September after travelling from Interpol HQ in France to China, and China only revealed on Sunday that Meng had been detained on his arrival in the country.

As a result, Grace Meng is now under French police protection. Making her first public comments on the mystery surrounding Meng Hongwei's whereabouts, Grace Meng told reporters in Lyon, France on Sunday she thinks the knife was her husband's way of trying to tell her he was in danger.She says she has had no further contact with him since the message that was sent on September 25.

Grace Meng urged national governments to intervene, saying she feared that her husband's life was in danger.

She said she thought he sent an image of a knife before he disappeared in China as a way to warn 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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"Interpol's General Secretariat looks forward to an official response from China's authorities to address concerns over the President's well-being", the statement continued. Interpol has appointed Kim Jong Yang of South Korea as acting president.

China, the most populous country in the world, maintains a presence relatively modest in global organisations compared to the western States, and no longer lead to a large institution since the retirement of the hong kong Margaret Chan, the head of the world health Organization from 2007 to 2017.

A new president will be elected for the remaining two years of Mr. Meng's tenure during a general assembly meeting in Dubai next month.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Tuesday in Beijing.

He headed the organisation's executive committee, which provides overall guidance and direction.

Following the announcement of Meng's appointment in 2016 there were concerns among human rights advocates that he could turn the organization towards Beijing's aims.

Some critics of Xi's anti-graft campaign - which has punished more than one million officials - say it also functions as a tool for the Communist Party general secretary to eliminate his political rivals. In the meeting, the attendees pledged "absolute political loyalty" to President Xi Jinping and the party leadership while unanimously expressing support for the probe against Meng.

China has said that Meng's fall from grace is evidence that no one is above the law.

Mr. Meng's downfall is "entirely the outcome of his sticking to his own ways, and he only has himself to blame", Mr. Zhao said.

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