CapitalTV: Interpol chief Meng Hongwei resigns after detention in China

INTERPOL President Meng Hongwei poses during a visit to the headquarters of International Police Organisation in Lyon France

INTERPOL President Meng Hongwei poses during a visit to the headquarters of International Police Organisation in Lyon France

The global police organization's statement came shortly after China revealed that Meng was under investigation for unspecified crimes.

Meng Hongwei, according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua, was the first Chinese official to become president of Interpol, which is based in Lyon. It did not say why.

Meng is China's vice minister of public security as well as president of the International Criminal Police Organization.

Meng, who also is vice-minister of China's police apparatus, was reported missing after traveling from France to China.

In an earlier statement released on Sunday, the Chinese government said Meng was "under investigation" by the National Supervisory Commission, but gave no further details on whether he was in custody or what the charges might be.

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.

The Chinese head of Interpol, Meng Hongwei, has been detained and is under investigation for suspected violations of laws, said a newly formed anti-corruption body in China in a statement released late on October 7.

Grace Meng believes her husband to be in danger, AFP reported, citing a statement to reporters in Lyon, France, on Sunday.

Meng is the first person from China to serve as Interpol's president, a post that is largely symbolic but powerful in status.

Meng's wife has said her husband sent her an image of a knife before he disappeared.

The Lyon-based worldwide police agency said Saturday it had used law enforcement channels to inquire with China about Meng's status.

"This is the last, last message from my husband", she said.

Grace Meng told reporters that Meng messaged her an emoji of knife that day, which she interpreted as a warning he was in danger.

Interpol has asked Chinese authorities for information about Meng Hongwei.

At the time, Amnesty International called Meng's appointment "at odds with Interpol's mandate to work in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights".

She said the call never came and she does not know what happened to him.

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

The Chinese effort to track down corrupt officials overseas, known as Operation Fox Hunt, has led to claims in some countries that Chinese law-enforcement agents have been operating covertly on their soil without the approval or consent of local authorities.

"As long as I can't see my husband in front of me, speaking to me, I can't have any confidence", Mrs Meng was quoted as saying by French TV stations and Sunday newspapers.

The statement on the Ministry of Public Security's website also said police would form a task force to go after Meng's associates, adding that his "insistence on doing things in his own way means he has only himself to blame for being placed under investigation".

She said they were in daily contact during his trip before he vanished in China. Meng, a member of the Communist Party, worked with former security chief and Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, who is now serving a life sentence for corruption.

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