China admits detaining missing Interpol chief, accuses him of bribery

China admits detaining missing Interpol chief accuses him of bribery

THE Chinese authorities said on Monday that the President of INTERPOL Meng Hongwei who vanished while on a trip home last month has been arrested on suspicion of taking bribes. His wife reported him missing.

Chinese authorities had previously remained tight-lipped about the whereabouts of Meng, following his sudden disappearance last month after he flew from France to China.

Cheng Xiaohe, a professor of worldwide relations at people's University in Beijing, acknowledges that the case "tarnish" the image of China.

"Imagine if China were to somehow, someday, get a United Nations secretary general, and then he too one day disappeared", said Michael Caster, a researcher and human rights advocate in Bangkok who studies China's legal system.

"Meng's arrest seems like a powerful demonstration of China's commitment to rooting out corruption, even when it can cost them the directorship of an important global vehicle", he said.

The French ministry said last Friday that Meng's family had not heard from him since September 25, and French authorities said his wife was under police protection after getting threats. His wife has since reported him missing. Much of the day-to-day responsibility for its activities resides with Secretary General Jürgen Stock, who has more than 40 years of law enforcement experience. Facilitating global police cooperation among its 192 members in a world where crime is increasingly transnational and geopolitical relationships are fraught is tough.

Mr. Meng was charged by the National Supervisory Commission, an anticorruption body created in March to intensify the country's campaign against graft and to give it firmer legal cladding. Many don't have a chance to speak up even if they want to: spouses of officials under investigation, if they're in China, would likely be placed under 24-hour surveillance, Lam said. Mr. Meng's detention is nearly tantamount to a conviction. The appeal - especially unusual for senior Chinese officials - cast an unwelcome light on extralegal detentions that have increasingly ensnared dissidents and allegedly corrupt or disloyal officials alike under President Xi Jinping's authoritarian administration.

Meng, 64, became president of the global police cooperation agency in late 2016 amid a broader effort by China to secure leadership posts in worldwide organisations.

Mr Meng is not the first high-profile figure to be targeted in the drive.

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In 2013, Meng was appointed director of China's maritime police bureau, which includes the country's coast guard and maritime anti-smuggling authorities.

The public security ministry said Meng's case shows "that no one is above the law" and underscores the need to "thoroughly eliminate the pernicious influence of Zhou Yongkang".

A statement issued by the Ministry of Public Security did not provide details about the allegations against Meng, but hinted that he may have been linked to former Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, who is now serving a life sentence for corruption.

The statement said Meng's "insistence on doing things in his own way meant he only had himself to blame for the investigation".

Willy Lam, a Chinese politics expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said Meng's case shows how Chinese officials, no matter where they are, have to obey the Communist Party first and foremost.

The French Interior Ministry said through a spokesman it has no information to share about the text message Grace had received from her husband.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Meng's wife Grace said she had received a message from his phone containing a knife emoji before his disappearance.

"Xi requires absolute loyalty", said Willy Lam, the assumption that the investigators have doubts as to the fidelity of Mr. Meng to the line presidential.

Interpol President Meng Hongwei delivered his opening address, in July 2017, at the Interpol World congress, in Singapore.

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