Wife says Interpol chief sent knife image as danger signal

Grace Meng told journalists that she thought the knife emoji meant her husband was in danger

Grace Meng told journalists that she thought the knife emoji meant her husband was in danger

The party's watchdog for graft and political disloyalty said on its website that Meng Hongwei, China's vice minister of public security, is "suspected of violating the law and is now under the monitoring and investigation" of China's new anti-corruption body, the National Supervision Commission.

Meng had been reported missing by his wife after traveling last month from France, where Interpol is based, to China.

His disappearance was made public on Friday, when French authorities said they were opening an investigation to find out what happened to Meng, a Chinese national who served a lengthy term as the vice minister for public security.

But she did not hear back from him, she said.

The statement came after Mr Hongwei's wife, Grace Meng, told reporters how her husband "singalled he was in danger" by sending her an image of a knife.

Late Sunday, China confirmed Meng had been officially detained for investigation by the country's anti-corruption body for unspecified breaches of the law.

Although the commission did not detail the allegations against Meng, its mandate is to investigate corruption cases as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's anti-graft campaign.

But Interpol has, in the past, denied this, saying its head does not intervene in day-to-day operations, which are handled by secretary-general Juergen Stock who is German.

Xi, China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, has overseen a harsh crackdown on civil society that is aimed at squelching dissent and activism among lawyers and rights advocates.

The Chinese effort to track down corrupt officials overseas, known as Operation Fox Hunt, has led to claims in some countries that Chinese law-enforcement agents have been operating covertly on their soil without the approval or consent of local authorities.

Zhou - who was sentenced to life in prison in 2014 - was subsequently accused of conspiring to seize state power and authorities have continued working to root out his influence.

"Today, Sunday 7 October, (at) the Interpol General Secretariat in Lyon, France received the resignation of Mr Meng Hongwei as President of Interpol with immediate effect", Interpol said in a statement.

The secretary-general of the global group has issued a statement, and posted it on Twitter, than "Interpol has requested through official law enforcement channels clarification from China's authorities on the status of Interpol President Meng Hongwei".

During Meng's tenure, Interpol issued a red notice for fugitive Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui, who threatened to reveal corruption at the country's highest levels.

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