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Interpol President Resigns Amid Beijing Probe

08 October 2018

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. It did not say why.

Meng is China's vice minister of public security.

The disciplinary organ of China's ruling Communist Party said Sunday Meng is under investigation on suspicion of unspecified legal violations.

The South China Morning Post, a newspaper known for its connections to China's government, itself reported that Meng had been detained for questioning by upon landing in China last week, and indicated he may have been the target of an ongoing anti-corruption campaign in the country - a campaign which Chinese president Xi Jinping has used to consolidate his power.

Interpol announced Sunday that it has received the resignation of Meng Hongwei, its Chinese chief, who has been missing since September 25 and is suspected by Beijing of "violating the law," AFP reported.

The reports quoted an unnamed French judicial official as saying that Meng arrived in China at the end of September but there had been no news of him since.

Meng is China's vice minister for public security, and regularly traveled between Beijing and Lyon, France, where Interpol is based.

The Interpol General Secretariat in Lyon, France received the resignation of the organization's president, Meng Hongwei, 64, effective immediately, Interpol said in a statement Sunday.

Meng's wife had suspected danger to her husband's life after she revealed that he sent her an image of a knife before he disappeared. He sent her the knife image that day, four minutes after he sent a message saying, "Wait for my call".

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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.

Meng's wife, who has remained in Lyon with their children according to police sources, was receiving protection, France's interior ministry said on October 6.

The statement was the first from China since Meng's disappearance had been reported in France on Friday.

"This matter belongs to the worldwide community", Meng told a press conference.

On Saturday, Interpol formally requested China to notify the organisation of Meng's whereabouts.

"His job is very busy", she said.

Grace Meng's latest call for help from the worldwide press - an unusual measure for family members of fallen Chinese senior officials - further indicated that Meng and his wife probably had prepared for the worst circumstances.

A spokeswoman for Interpol, who declined to give her name, refused to say whether Meng had been on official business in China.

Xi, China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, has overseen a harsh crackdown on civil society that is aimed at squelching dissent and activism among lawyers and rights advocates.

Interpol President Resigns Amid Beijing Probe