Published: Mon, October 08, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Wife says Interpol chief sent knife image as danger signal

Wife says Interpol chief sent knife image as danger signal

Meng is a senior Chinese security official as well as president of the International Criminal Police Organisation.

Interpol announced Sunday that Meng had resigned as president of the worldwide police agency, effective immediately, shortly after China made a brief announcement that Meng was under investigation.

"France is looking into the situation of the President of Interpol and is concerned about the threats his wife has received", the statement said.

"Interpol has requested through official law enforcement channels clarification from China's authorities on the status of Interpol President Meng Hongwei", Jurgen Stock, the secretary-general of the worldwide police body said in a statement.

On Saturday, Interpol requested clarification from China's authorities on Meng's status as he had been missing since he left Lyon for China on September 29. Grace Meng detailed the last messages she exchanged with her husband, Interpol President Meng Hongwei, to reporters as part of her unusual appeal. That day, he sent her the knife image from an Interpol phone four minutes after sending an initial message saying, "Wait for my call".

"Thus, while the image of China and advancing China's capacity to take on leading offices in worldwide organisations matter to the Chinese government, they are secondary to party considerations", he said.

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

The French ministry, however, said that they did not have any information regarding that.

Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute in London, said that given Meng's seniority, any decision to detain him must have come from the highest levels of the Chinese government.

Speculation has mounted that Meng, who also serves as a vice minister of China's public security ministry, may have been swept up in a broad anti-corruption campaign led by President Xi Jinping.

Interpol also received Meng's resignation as the global body's president soon afterwards.

China's National Supervisory Commission announced just before midnight that Meng had been detained while an unspecified law violation was being investigated.

"As long as I can't see my husband in front of me, speaking to me, I can't have any confidence", Mrs Meng was quoted as saying by French TV stations and Sunday newspapers.

The statement was the first from China since Mr Meng's disappearance had been reported in France on Friday.

His wife, Grace, told reporters in Lyon, where Interpol is headquartered, that she was concerned after receiving a text message from her husband with a knife emoji.

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.

It adds that a "suitable police mechanism" was put in place to guarantee Grace Meng's safety, and that the prosecutor's office in Lyon has opened an investigation.

Presidents of Interpol are seconded from their national administrations and remain in their home post while representing the worldwide policing body.

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