Interpol chief resigns, China says Meng under probe for breach of law


The announcement came shortly after China's top anti-corruption body said that Meng is under investigation in that country, ending days of speculation about his whereabouts but still leaving many questions unanswered.

Meanwhile, Interpol says Mr Meng resigned as the body's president on Sunday evening.

Under its terms it had appointed senior vice-president Kim Jong-yang of South Korea as acting president.

On Friday, the French Police started an investigation after Meng's wife reported that he was missing.

While many analysts have said the disappearance and detention of Meng, whose tenure was due to end in 2020, will take a heavy toll on China's efforts to attain a leading role in global governance, some argued that Beijing would have been well aware of the risks before deciding to act in the way it did.

Grace Meng told reporters in Lyon, France, that she thinks her husband was trying to tell her he was in danger. That day, he sent her the knife image from an Interpol phone four minutes after sending an initial message saying, "Wait for my call".

Soon after the CCDI made public Meng's status, Grace Meng, who first learned about the development from the AP, said she was struggling to believe what it said.

She said: "As long as I can't see my husband in front of me, speaking to me, I can't have any confidence".

Asked about the text message Grace Meng received, the French Interior Ministry said through a spokesman it has no information to share.

The first Chinese national to lead Interpol, his election caused controversy at the time, especially among human rights activists.

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Meng, who is China's vice minister for public security and a former head of Interpol China, was elected president of Interpol in November 2016.

China's National Supervisory Commission announced just before midnight that Meng had been detained while an unspecified law violation was being investigated.

However, Meng's wife sought to distance her husband from Zhou, saying the two men did not get on.

Fearing for her safety, she spoke with her back to reporters and refused to be photographed. The policing organization did not explain how they received the resignation notice and how they determined its authenticity.

"From now on, I have gone from sorrow and fear to the pursuit of truth, justice and responsibility toward history", Grace Meng said at her press conference on Sunday.

Mr Xi has been seeking the return of officials and business people accused of fraud and corruption from overseas, sometimes with the help of Interpol in an arrangement human rights advocates say is prone to abuse.

French police launched an investigation to find him.

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.

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 authorisation.