The missing Interpol chief, who also served a lengthy term as China’s vice minister for public security, Meng Hongwei is detained by Chinese authorities. On October 7th, Interpol received his resignation letter with “immediate effect.”
On October 6th, according to the international police organization’s secretary-general Juergen Stock, Interpol asked Beijing to clarify the situation of the Interpol chief, who had been missing for 12 days. His wife reported him missing, after he travelled from France to China in the end of September. His disappearance was made public on October 5th.
“Interpol has requested through official law enforcement channels clarification from China’s authorities on the status of Interpol President Meng Hongwei,” Stock, who carries out the day-to-day running of the organization, said on its website.
“Interpol’s General Secretariat looks forward to an official response from China’s authorities to address concerns over the President’s well-being,” Stock added in the statement.
On the following day, the Chinese anti-corruption body released a statement saying that the Interpol chief and Chinese vice-minister for security had been detained because he is under investigation for bribery and corruption.
“Public Security Ministry Vice Minister Meng Hongwei is currently under investigation by the National Supervisory Commission for suspected violations of law,” the Chinese anti-corruption body said in a brief statement on its website.
Interpol said later that Meng had resigned as president of the organization, and that South Korean national Kim Jong Yang would become its acting president, while it would appoint a new president at a Nov 18-21 meeting of the organization in Dubai.
“Today, Sunday 7 October, (at) the Interpol General Secretariat in Lyon, France received the resignation of Mr Meng Hongwei as President of Interpol with immediate effect,” Interpol said in a statement.
On October 7th, Meng’s wife, Grace, said her husband sent her an image of a knife before he disappeared during a trip to their native China. According to her, the knife picture was a way of her husband telling her that he was in danger. She also said that four minutes before sending the image, he sent her a message saying: “Wait for my call.”
This is generally how investigations for similar charges happen in China. Fan Bingbing, a Chinese actress who disappeared in July reappeared on October 3rd with a public apology and a fine of $129m for tax evasion and other offences.
Earlier than that, China’s former chief of internet regulation, Lu Wei, was charged with taking bribes. In July 2015, he was replaced as head of the online regulator, with Xinhua News Agency giving no official explanation for his departure, saying that he would “no longer serve as director.”
There was no information of him for more than a year and in November 2017 China’s anti-corruption agency announced that he had been detained amid an internal corruption probe, adding that he was “arbitrary and tyrannical.” In February 2018, state media added that he had been expelled from the Communist Party and dismissed from public office “for multiple offences including taking bribes.”
There has been an apparent large crackdown on Chinese corruption. Prior to March 2018, the main watchdog for corruption was the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI). However, starting from March, the Chinese government established a new body called the National Supervision Commission (NSC) which would oversee “all public servants exercising public power” – not just party members.
The MSM portrays Chinese President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption as a political witch hunt, for him to clear his way of political rivals.