Interpol says Chinese chief Meng has resigned

Larry Hoffman
October 8, 2018

Adding to the mystery, the global police agency tweeted Sunday night that it received Meng's resignation and that Kim Jong Yang of South Korea, a vice president representing Asia on Interpol's executive committee, would serve as acting president until Interpol's general assembly picks a permanent president next month.

Interpol has asked Chinese authorities for information about its president, Meng Hongwei, who is also a Chinese government official and was reported missing last week.

China's top anti-corruption agency said in a one-sentence statement Sunday that Meng was suspected of breaking the law, without giving details.

Interpol then announced that Meng had resigned as president, effective immediately.

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

The National Supervisory Commission, which handles corruption cases involving public servants, broke the official silence early Monday, saying in a one-line statement that Meng "is now under investigation on suspicion of violating the law".

Mrs. Meng showed reporters the message, on her mobile phone, during a press conference in Lyon, central France, Sunday Oct. 7, 2018, where Interpol is based.

Meng's case follows another major disappearance in China of actress Fan Bingbing, who was out of the public eye for months until it was revealed last week that she had been under investigation by tax authorities.

She kept her back turned to the reporters present, and refused to be photographed out of fear for her safety. The worldwide police organization's statement came shortly after China revealed that Meng was under investigation for unspecified crimes.

The South China Morning Post, a newspaper known for its connections to China's government, itself reported that Meng had been detained for questioning by upon landing in China last week, and indicated he may have been the target of an ongoing anti-corruption campaign in the country - a campaign which Chinese president Xi Jinping has used to consolidate his power.

Meng, 64, had lived with his wife and two children in France since being elected Interpol president in 2016 for four years.

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.

Meng's various jobs put him in close contact with Chinese leaders in the security establishment, a sector long synonymous with corruption, opacity and human rights abuses. Interpol's secretary-general is responsible for the day-to-day operations. Some of them might have been pursued by Chinese authorities under Meng's watch. He had been on a three-country tour, to Norway, Sweden and Serbia, for Interpol before his latest trip back to China, she said.

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