We have Interpol chief under arrest, admits Beijing

Ex-Interpol chief Meng Hongwei under investigation for suspected bribery China

Ex-Interpol chief Meng Hongwei under investigation for suspected bribery China

China on Sunday confirmed that it was holding Interpol chief Meng Hongwei for investigation into possible criminal activity.

Meng's wife, who has remained in Lyon with their children according to police sources, was receiving protection, France's interior ministry said on October 6.

Interpol said South Korean national Kim Jong Yang would becomes its acting president, while it would appoint a new president at a 18-21 November meeting of the organisation in Dubai.

Meng was first reported missing after traveling to China September 29.

The last person in contact with the 64-year-old Meng was his wife, who told reporters prior to China's announcement that she had received a WhatsApp message from him containing nothing but a knife emoji after he had arrived in China, which came several minutes after a message which said,"wait for my call".

Despite such statements, rights groups expressed concern that Mr Meng would help further China's agenda of attacking the government's political foes while neutralising criticism.

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The statement on the Ministry of Public Security's website also said police would form a task force to go after Meng's associates, adding that his "insistence on doing things in his own way means he has only himself to blame for being placed under investigation".

While Meng's "disappearance" first made worldwide news on Friday.

Because Interpol's secretary general is responsible for the day-to-day running of the agency's operations, Meng's absence may have little operational effect.

Meng's disappearance was originally reported by his wife, who told French police in the city of Lyon she had not heard from him since he travelled to China.

A brief statement on the website of the Chinese National Supervisory Committee said only that Meng was suspected of breaking the law and was under "supervision", a euphemism for in detention.

Mrs. Meng declined to speculate on her husband's whereabouts. The policing organization did not explain how they received the resignation notice and how they determined its authenticity.

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Making her first public comments on the issue, Grace Meng told reporters in Lyon, France, that she thought the knife was her husband's way of trying to tell her he was in danger.

"Interpol is aware of media reports in connection with the alleged disappearance of Interpol President Meng Hongwei".

Interpol said earlier over the weekend that it had asked Beijing to clarify Meng's situation. "For the husband whom I deeply love, for my young children, for the people of my motherland, for all the wives and children's husbands and fathers to no longer disappear".

Meng's seizure on suspicion of corruption is an ironic reversal for a Chinese official whose ascent to the top of Interpol was supposed to aid Beijing's efforts in catching corrupt runaway officials. 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.

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.

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

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