Missing Interpol president 'sent photo of knife' to wife before vanishing

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

Wife of missing Interpol president says he sent her a photo of a knife

Mr Meng, who is also Vice-Minister of Public Security in China, had been reported missing after travelling from France, where Interpol is based, to China.

An investigation into Meng Hongwei's disappearance was launched on October 5.

Meng Hongwei poses during a visit to the headquarters of International Police Organization in Lyon, France, in May. It did not say why.

The statement by a Chinese anti-graft body was the first official word from China about Mr Meng since his disappearance was reported in France on Friday. His whereabouts and status have been mysteries since his wife reported Friday that she had not heard from him since he went to China at the end of September.

China's National Supervision Commission, which handles corruption cases involving public servants, said Mr Meng was under investigation in a statement on its website.

Senior vice-presidnet serving on Interpol's executive committee Kim Jong Yang of South Korea will serve as acting president and Interpol's 87th General Assembly will elect a new president in November to serve until 2020.

The disciplinary organ of China's ruling Communist Party says the head of Interpol, a senior Chinese official, is under investigation on suspicion of unspecified legal violations.

But she did not hear back from him, she said. The Lyon-based worldwide police agency said Saturday it had used law enforcement channels to inquire with China about Meng's status.

Speaking to reporters Sunday in France, Meng´s wife said she feared that her husband´s life was in danger.

She said she has had no further contact with him since the message that was sent on September 25.

She added, "Although I can't see my husband, we are always connected by heart".

Interpol, or the International Police Criminal Organization, facilitates international police cooperation.

Mrs. Meng was accompanied to her news conference at a Lyon hotel by two French police officers who were assigned to look after her.

Ms Meng said: "His job is very busy".

In a sign of her nervous apprehension, Meng's wife would not allow reporters to show her face, saying she feared for her own safety and the safety of her children.

A spokeswoman for Interpol, who declined to give her name, refused to say whether Meng had been on official business in China.

However, Meng's wife sought to distance her husband from Zhou, saying the two men did not get on. The former president of an organization like Interpol being imprisoned on corruption charges would not be a good look for future Communist Party members hoping to head global organizations.

The campaign has since punished over 1 million officials of varying stature, who are often suddenly detained without warning only to emerge later in detention.

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