China Accuses Detained Ex-Interpol Chief of Bribery and Other Crimes

Meng Hongwei is being investigated for bribery

Critics of Meng's 2016 election to Interpol's presidency said he would use the position to help China target dissidents overseas under the guise of pursuing corrupt officials.

A statement released by Interpol on Sunday said that Meng had resigned with immediate effect.

In a separate development, Interpol said it had received Meng's resignation from the worldwide police agency with "immediate effect" according to statement posted Sunday.

Previously, Interpol had said that reports about Meng's disappearance were "a matter for the relevant authorities in both France and China".

Making her first public comments on the mystery surrounding Meng Hongwei's whereabouts, Grace Meng told reporters in Lyon, France on Sunday she thinks the knife was her husband's way of trying to tell her he was in danger.

French media also reported that Meng's husband had recently sent her a mobile phone message featuring a knife image, as a way of showing her that he felt he was in danger.

"I'm pretty sure they would have expected an extraordinary response from the global community before taking such a decision", Beijing-based political commentator Zhang Lifan said.

When Meng Hongwei left Lyon for China, little did he know that it could be his last journey before being captured in his country of origin.

The first Chinese national to lead Interpol, his election caused controversy at the time, especially among human rights activists.

Mr Meng, who is also China's vice-minister of public security, is one of a lengthening list of politicians, officials and celebrities to have fallen foul of...

A short time later, Interpol released a short, unusual statement of its own, declaring that it had received Meng's resignation.

Interpol chief's wife shares knife emoji
Image Mr Meng's wife showed a knife emoji he had sent before he went missing

Meng had been reported missing by his wife after travelling last month from France, where Interpol is based, to China.

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

Mrs Meng would not speculate on what might have happened to her husband.

Meng's wife has said her husband sent her an image of a knife before he disappeared.

He appointed Meng vice security minister in 2004.

In a sign of her nervous apprehension, Meng's wife would not allow reporters to show her face, saying she feared for her own safety and the safety of her children.

Interpol, or the International Criminal Police Organization, assists police in its 192 member countries to work together on matters of international crime.

The Chinese government statement on Monday said that Meng's fall highlighted President Xi Jinping's resolve in cleaning up the ruling Communist Party and stressed the importance of political loyalty to the Party's leadership under Xi.

The paper, which based its reporting on an unnamed source, said the reason for Meng's questioning was unknown. He was not on French soil when he was last seen, according a senior French law enforcement official, who declined to say whether he was in China.

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

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