Wife of missing Interpol chief fears he is in ‘danger’


October 08, 2018


Meng said the last social media message she received from her husband hinted at trouble

Meng Hongwei | Image Credit: Reuters


Lyon: The wife of Meng Hongwei, the Chinese Interpol president who has gone missing, on Sunday said she feared that her husband’s life is in danger.

Speaking in English at a press conference in Lyon, the southeast French city where the international police organisation is based, Meng said the last social media message she received from her husband came on September 25, depicting a single emoji that means “I’m in danger.”

This photo shows the last message sent by missing Interpol President, Meng Hongwei, to his wife, Grace Meng. She showed reporters the message, on her mobile phone, during a press conference in Lyon, central France, Sunday Oct. 7, 2018, where Interpol is based. The message from Meng at 12:26 on Sept. 26 says “wait for my call.” Four minutes later, he sent the photo of the knife. Earlier that day she had sent him a photo of two animal figurines, one of a bear and another of a horse, meant to represent their two children; one of them loves horses, she said, and the other “looks like the bear.” -AP


Meanwhile, China said on Monday the president of Interpol is under investigation for possible criminal activity.

Meng Hongwei “is currently under investigation on suspicion of violating the law”, according to a statement on the website of the National Supervisory Commission, which handles corruption cases involving China’s public servants.

Meng, the first Chinese president of Interpol, was last heard from on September 25 as he left Lyon – where the international police organisation is based – for China.

His disappearance was disclosed by French officials on Friday but China had remained tight-lipped about his status until now.

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

The agency’s secretary general Juergen Stock, who oversees day-to-day operations, said Saturday that it was seeking “clarification” on his whereabouts from Chinese authorities.

It is the latest high-profile disappearance in China, where a number of top government officials, billionaire business magnates and even an A-list celebrity have vanished for weeks or months at a time.

When – or if – they reappear, it is often in court.

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

Although the commission did not detail the allegations against Meng, its mandate is to investigate corruption cases as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign.

Some critics of the effort – which has punished more than one million officials – say it also functions as a tool for Xi to eliminate his political rivals.

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