The former president of global police authority Interpol, who’s been missing for about two weeks, is now under investigation for alleged bribery, China’s Ministry of Public Security said Monday.
Meng Hongwei, also Beijing’s vice minister of public security, resigned his Interpol position Sunday, but his whereabouts are unknown. He’s been missing since he left Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France, for China on Sept. 29.
Interpol announced Meng’s resignation without explanation.
Meng became Interpol chief in 2016 in an effort by Beijing to raise its profile in international organizations. He was replaced Monday by Acting President Kim Jong Yang of South Korea.
His disappearance has been a mystery for over a week. His last communication was a message to his wife Sept. 25 that included only an emoji of a knife. Minutes later, he wrote, “Wait for my call,” but did not call. He gave no explanation of his location or condition.
A statement Monday from China’s public security ministry mentioned Meng’s alleged “acceptance of bribery and suspected violation of the law.”
“There is no privilege and no exception before the law. Anyone who violates the law must be severely punished,” the ministry said.
Officials referred to China’s legal system as a “high voltage line” to “regulate and restrict power” and “never allow power to seek personal gain.”
The ministry did not identify instances of Meng’s alleged transgressions, but mentioned former Chinese Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, who’s serving a life sentence after being caught in President Xi Junping’s crackdown on corruption.
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