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Meng Hongwei
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/W. Maye-E

China: Interpol chief under investigation for bribery

October 8, 2018

Interpol chief Meng Hongwei, who disappeared during a trip to his native China, is being probed for taking bribes. Meanwhile, Meng's wife said she fears that her husband's life is in danger.


Interpol President Meng Hongwei, who had gone missing in late September, is under investigation for bribery and other crimes, the Chinese Security Ministry announced on Monday.

Meng is accused of "accepting bribes and is suspected of violating the law," the ministry said in a statement. It also hinted at a political dimension by stating Meng was being probed because of his own "willfulness and for bringing trouble upon himself."

Meng, a senior security official in China as well as the first Chinese head of Interpol, has been missing since September 25 while on a trip to his native country.

On Sunday, China's anti-graft body had said that "Public Security Ministry Vice Minister Meng Hongwei is currently under investigation by the National Supervisory Commission for suspected violations of law," without specifying its allegations.

China has been cracking down on corruption under President Xi Jinping.

Interpol later said Meng had resigned as president of the international police organization with immediate effect. It named South Korean national Kim Jong Yang, who was Senior Vice-President, as acting president.

'Received knife as message'

An hour earlier, Meng's wife told reporters in the French city of Lyon, where Interpol's headquarters are, that she feared that her husband's life was in danger.

In her first public comments on her husband's mysterious disappearance, Grace Meng said her husband sent her an image of a knife before he went missing. She said the knife was his way to tell her that he was in danger.

Grace Meng, the wife of missing Interpol President Meng Hongwei, who does not want her face shown, consults her mobile phone in the lobby of a hotel in Lyon.
Grace Meng asked journalists not to show her face as feared for her own safety and the safety of her two children.Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/J. Leicester

Grace Meng told reporters that she last heard from her husband on September 25. He sent her the knife image that day, four minutes after he sent a message saying, "Wait for my call."

But the call never came, she said, adding that she did not what happened to her husband.

She asked journalists not to show her face as she fears for her own safety and that of her two children.

ng,ap/kms (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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