China admits missing Interpol chief is 'under monitoring'

MOSCOW RUSSIA ? JULY 6 2018 Interpol President Meng Hongwei at an International Cybersecurity Congress at Moscow's World Trade Centre. Mikhail Metzel  TASS

China admits missing Interpol chief is 'under monitoring'

France's Interior Ministry said Meng's wife is under police protection after receiving threats.

On Sunday night, three days after Meng was reported missing, the Chinese Communist Party announced that he had been detained as part of an investigation by the party's corruption and loyalty watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. which suspected him of "violating the law'".

Interpol said Sunday night that Meng had resigned as president of the agency's executive committee, effectively immediately.

The wife of missing Interpol president Meng Hongwei has said he sent her an image of a knife before he disappeared in China.

Beijing's admission came just hours after his wife, Grace Meng, told a press conference in Lyon, France, on Sunday, that her husband had sent her the image of a knife shortly before he disappeared that she was convinced it was his way of signalling he was at risk.

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"His job is very busy", she said.

Interpol also said in its statement that it will elect a new president for the remaining two years of the current mandate at its general assembly to be held in Dubai on November 18-21.

Interpol President Meng Hongwei allegedly went missing after he went to China.

She says she hasn't heard from him since and does not know what happened to him.

She kept her back turned to the reporters at the press conference, and refused to be photographed out of fear for her safety. 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.

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The South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based newspaper known for its connections inside the Chinese government, said Meng was "taken away" for questioning upon landing in China last week. Some of them might have been pursued by Chinese authorities under Meng's watch as vice minister for public security.

Before he shared the knife image, she said she had sent him a photo of two animal figurines, one of a bear and another of a horse, meant to represent their two children; one of them loves horses, she said, and the other "looks like the bear".

Interpol later said Meng had resigned as president of the global police organization with immediate effect.

The agency issued a statement yesterday demanding "clarification" from China after Mr Meng's disappearance. He is a senior member of the Communist Party.

Chinese president Xi Jinping has presided over a popular anti-graft drive since coming to power in 2012 that has punished more than one million officials, with critics comparing it to a political purge.

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No further information about his arrest was released.

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