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China is investigating the missing head of Interpol for unspecified crimes

AP Photo/Wong Maye-E
Who polices the policeman?
By Adam Pasick
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Interpol president Meng Hongwei has been detained by by Chinese anti-corruption authorities who are investigating him for unspecified crimes. He went missing a week ago after traveling to China from France, where he he is based.

China’s National Supervisory Commission “said in a unusually terse statement just before midnight that Meng was being investigated for suspected serious violations of state law,” the South China Morning Post reported.

Update, 3:45pm ET: Interpol said in a statement that Meng has resigned, effective immediately.

His wife, Grace Meng,  told reporters in Lyon, France that her husband sent her an image of a knife—an apparent symbol of danger—on Sept. 25, just before he disappeared. She says she has had no further communications with him.

AP Photo/John Leicester
Grace Meng, who does not want her face shown.

“In China, what happened, I’m not sure,” she said in a press conference, where she asked reporters not to show her face due to concerns about her family’s safety. She and her children have been placed in protective custody by French authorities.

Meng, in addition to serving as the head of the international agency to facilitate cooperation between national police agencies, is also China’s vice minister of public security. A number of high-ranking Chinese officials have been convicted of corruption as part of a power-consolidating crackdown by president Xi Jinping.

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