Missing Interpol chief 'sent wife danger message' before being detained in China

MOSCOW RUSSIA ? JULY 6 2018 Interpol President Meng Hongwei at an International Cybersecurity Congress at Moscow's World Trade Centre. Mikhail Metzel  TASS

Missing Interpol chief 'sent wife danger message' before being detained in China

The disciplinary organ of China's ruling Communist Party said in a brief statement on its website, Meng was "suspected of violating the law and is now under the monitoring and investigation" of China's new anti-corruption body, the National Supervision Commission.

A statement on the website of China's National Supervisory Commission said Meng Hongwei "is now under investigation on suspicion of violating the law".

A journalist holds the mobile phone of the wife of missing Interpol President Meng Hongwey, showing what she says is the last message exchanged with her husband, during a press conference on October 7, 2018 in Lyon.

Interpol, the Lyon-based global police agency, said in a brief statement Saturday that it has asked China about the status of its 64-year-old leader. "This matter belongs to the worldwide community", Meng told a press conference.

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.

When asked about the Chinese announcement, France's Interior Ministry said it had no information.

The missing president of the police agency Interpol sent his wife an image of a knife immediately before he disappeared in China, which she believes was his way of saying that he was in danger.

Meng added that her husband in was in China for a work-related matter, and the image of the knife was an indication from him that something was amiss.

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But Interpol has, in the past, denied this, saying its head does not intervene in day-to-day operations, which are handled by secretary-general Juergen Stock who is German.

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

China, in the midst of the Golden Week holiday, has yet to comment on the 64-year-old security official's disappearance.

Under President Xi Jinping, China has been engaged in a crackdown on corruption.

Interpol had said it had asked Beijing to clarify Meng's situation.

Under Chinese law, a suspect's family and employer must be notified within 24 hours of a detention, except in cases where doing so would hinder an investigation, the paper wrote.

During Meng's tenure, Interpol issued a red notice for fugitive Chinese billionaire real estate tycoon Guo Wengui, who threatened to reveal corruption at the country's highest levels.

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

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