Interpol's former Chinese chief accused of bribery

INTERPOL President Meng Hongwei poses during a visit to the headquarters of International Police Organisation in Lyon France

Beijing announced on Monday that Mr. Meng, aged 64, was prosecuted for having "accepted bribes", but without specifying whether these charges were related to his functions at the head of Interpol or to the position of vice minister of public Security (police), he was in parallel. His wife reported him missing.

Asked if Meng's sudden disappearance and investigation will affect the ability of Chinese officials to take top posts in global agencies, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said: "This (investigation) has shown Chinese government's firm resolve to crack down on corruption and crimes and it is also been made very clear that this case fully demonstrates that the party is firm in fighting corruption and anybody will be punished in accordance with law seriously if they violate the law".

Earlier this year Chinese officials established the National Supervision Commission, a party-led anti-corruption agency empowered to detain suspects for up to six months and to operate independent of the Cabinet, courts and prosecutors. "But now the spokesman is in trouble and it has definitely dealt a blow to China's image".

"That China feels so emboldened to disappear even one of its most famous actresses. should be a real wake up call that anyone within China could be next", human rights advocate Michael Caster wrote for CNN in September. "The brazenness with which China operates outside all concept or procedure of global norms is really concerning".

On whether China informed Interpol, he said Meng himself submitted a letter for resignation to the Interpol.

The New York Times reported, "Mr. Meng's abrupt and mysterious disappearance has left a cloud of uncertainty hanging over Chinese officials and the worldwide bodies that are increasingly giving them leadership roles". His wife has since reported him missing.

Interpol coordinates law enforcement activities among 192 member countries.

Interpol, or the International Police Criminal Organization, facilitates international police cooperation. Mr. Meng's detention is nearly tantamount to a conviction.

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Meng, a senior Chinese security official, appears to be the latest target in a far-reaching anti-graft campaign that critics say is a cover for eliminating political figures disloyal to China's president, Xi Jinping. In a Sunday statement on Twitter, Interpol said that it had received Mr. Meng's resignation with immediate effect.

Meng was the first Chinese president of Interpol, elected to the position in November 2016.

Mr. Meng's appointment, like his detention, nearly certainly had the approval of Mr. Xi himself.

After days of concealing his fate from the worldwide community, the public security ministry has revealed that the vice minister accepted bribes, providing no further details on the allegations or the conditions and location of Meng's apparent detention.

It indicated that Meng, a member of the Communist Party, may have somehow been tainted by former security chief and ex-Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, who is now serving a life sentence for corruption. The shocking turnabout comes days after Meng's wife said the career police officer had disappeared; one week ago, he left France to visit his native China.

The wife of the former Interpol president who disappeared in China revealed that she had received a threatening phone call warning of agents coming for her - but said she would keep fighting for information about her husband's fate. She says four minutes before Meng shared the image, he had sent a message saying, "Wait for my call".

Beijing said he was under investigation by the country's anti-corruption body for unspecified breaches of the law.

As president of Interpol, he was based in Lyon, the French city where the organization has its headquarters, and he regularly gave speeches promoting Interpol's priorities and China's contribution to them. "This matter belongs to my motherland", she added in the video clips.

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