Meng Hongwei: Interpol says president resigned amid investigation by China


The disciplinary organ of China's ruling Communist Party said Sunday night that Meng is "currently under the monitoring and investigation" of China's new anti-corruption body, for unspecified legal violations.

Interpol says a Chinese official who was reported missing has resigned as head of the worldwide police agency.

"He did not disappear in France", a source close to the investigation told Sky News.

However she claims to have not heard from him since, adding that she does not know what happened to him.

Meng had lived with his wife and two children in France since being elected Interpol president in 2016.

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

Her appearance at a press conference in Lyon, France, where Interpol's headquarters are based, came minutes before Beijing confirmed they had detained him as part of a criminal investigation.

Later, upon learning about the announcement from Chinese authorities, she told AFP that her husband's case will be under the watch of "international law and global public opinion", describing the situation as "political ruin".

She said she was taking the unusual step of speaking out because she felt a greater responsibility.

Meng, 64, was named to the post of Interpol president in late 2016, part of a broader Chinese effort to gain leadership positions in key worldwide organizations.

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Interpol said Saturday it has made a formal request to China for information about the agency's missing president.

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.

He appointed Meng vice security minister in 2004.

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.

He had been on a three-country tour, to Norway, Sweden and Serbia, for Interpol before his latest trip back to China, she said.

The Associated Press reported that Meng Hongwei is a member of China's Communist Party and his various past jobs likely put him in close contact with Zhou Yongkang, a former Chinese security chief and fellow Communist Party member now serving a life sentence for corruption.

China's recently established National Supervisory Commission holds sweeping powers to investigate the country's public servants with few requirements for transparency.

China now has 44 outstanding red notices, mostly related to murder, intentional injury and drug smuggling, according to Interpol's web site.

Authorities in China and Hong Kong have accused Guo, who resides in the United States, of laundering billions of dollars among other crimes.