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7 Oct, 2018 16:21

Meng resigns as Interpol director after Beijing confirms he's in China under investigation

Meng resigns as Interpol director after Beijing confirms he's in China under investigation

Interpol director Meng Hongwei, who has been missing since late September and has now resigned, is under investigation by China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, Beijing has confirmed.

France said late on Sunday that it had received Meng’s resignation as president of Interpol, with immediate effect.

South Korean official Kim Jong Yang has been assigned as Interpol’s acting president until the appointment of a new head to the international police body, at a summit in Dubai on November 18-21.

Meng, who resides with his family in the French city of Lyon, fell off the radar after taking a trip back to China on September 29. The Chinese politician had been heading the International Criminal Police Organization since 2016.

South China Morning Post newspaper previously reported, citing a source, that the Interpol head was under the government investigation, claiming that he was “taken away” as soon as his plane landed in China.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection has now confirmed that the official is under investigation over an alleged serious violation of an unspecified state law.  

Sources told France's Le Parisien newspaper that Meng is being detained in China on corruption charges revolving around him assisting a certain company in obtaining a cybersecurity contract.

Meng’s fate has been a mystery for over a week. His wife, Grace Meng, told journalists that her husband sent her an image of a knife to her phone before his disappearance to signal that he was in danger. The woman read a statement to journalists in Lyon on Sunday, with her face being concealed from cameras as she said she feared for her safety and that of her two kids.

Besides heading Interpol for the last two years, Meng also occupies the position of Chinese Deputy Public Security Minister. The 64-year-old has vast experience in law enforcement, previously occupying top positions in the Chinese Coast Guard and in the local branch of Interpol.

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