Interpol chief was China’s pride, his fall exposes the country’s dark side

Arrest of Interpol chief Meng Hongwei may be related to separatist movement of Uyghur Muslims in China

China says detained former Interpol chief is focus of bribery probe

When now-former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei disappeared suddenly last month, his wife did something unexpected: She took up a public fight against the Beijing authorities, a move rarely seen from family members of accused senior Chinese officials.

China's new National Supervision Commission said Mr Meng was being investigated for "violation of laws". Chinese authorities say they're investigating him as part of an anti-corruption campaign.

Interpol asks China for information on agency's missing president Interpol said Saturday it has asked Chinese authorities for information about the agency's president, Meng Hongwei, who was reported missing Thursday.

Meng Hongwei, the first Chinese president of Interpol, was last heard from on September 25 as he left Lyon for China. Presently, the Chinese nationals hold top positions at several global institutions including the UN, IMF, World Bank and UNESCO. It is widely apprehended that detention of Mr Meng would raise some concern among worldwide institutions and they could show reluctance in appointing Chinese officials to high positions in future.

Meng Hongwei, the head of Interpol (the global police organization), disappeared mysteriously during his trip to China in late September.

But the government's announcement did little to address concerns raised about the risks of appointing Chinese officials to leadership posts in global organizations.

Meng's case is the most high-profile yet for the NSC, which was created in March to expand China's anti-corruption drive to people and entities outside the Communist party, including government ministries, state-owned companies, and people working in the public sector.

His unexplained disappearance while on a trip home to China late last month had prompted the French government and Interpol to make their concerns known publicly in recent days. Meng is a vice-minister for public security in China. Under its terms it has appointed senior vice-president Kim Jong-yang of South Korea as acting president. Meng also championed greater Chinese involvement in the planning and development of Interpol.

But if corruption was the reason, then it seems reasonable to ask why the Chinese government didn't handle the whole issue through Interpol, as it has done with thousands of other cases.

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"It has also made very clear that this case fully demonstrates that the party is firm in fighting corruption and anybody will be punished seriously in accordance with the law if they violated the law", he continued.

However, Lu did not directly answer questions about whether Meng would be formally arrested or allowed to hire a lawyer, or receive a visit from his wife.

"Although I can't see my husband, we are always connected by heart", she was quoted as saying by CNN.

She said she thought he sent an image of a knife before he disappeared in China as a way to warn her he was in danger. "I don't know what has happened to him", she said. "For the husband whom I deeply love, for my young children, for the people of my motherland, for all the wives and children, so that their husbands and fathers will no longer disappear".

A day after Meng was reported missing, Interpol received his resignation, after Chinese officials said he was under investigation for bribery and "other crimes".

It indicated that Meng, a member of the Communist Party, may have somehow been tainted by the former security chief and ex-Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang who is now serving a life sentence for corruption.

"We should resolutely oppose corruption and resolutely eliminate the pernicious influence of Zhou Yongkang", the statement said.

China's move to go after the Interpol president, an official with worldwide standing, was unusually audacious even for an administration that under Xi's leadership has sought to assert its interests more aggressively on the global stage.

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