Tue, Oct 09, 2018 - Page 5 News List

Ex-Interpol chief under probe for bribery: China

‘TIMELY’:The investigation of Meng Hongwei, who is also China’s public security minister, shows that anyone who violates the law must be punished, the ministry said

Reuters, BEIJING and PARIS

Grace, the wife of missing former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, talks to journalists on Sunday in Lyon, France, at a press conference during which she did not want her face to be shown, a day after Interpol demanded an official “clarification” from China on Meng’s whereabouts.

Photo: AFP

China yesterday said it was investigating former Interpol president Meng Hongwei (孟宏偉) for bribery and other violations, days after French authorities said the Chinese official had been reported missing by his wife.

On Sunday, the France-based global police coordination body said Meng had resigned as president.

China on Sunday said that Meng, who is also a vice minister for public security in China, was under investigation.

The ministry yesterday specified that the probe was focused on suspected bribery.

“The investigation against Meng Hongwei taking bribes and suspected violations of law is very timely, absolutely correct and rather wise,” the ministry said in a statement said on its Web site.

The ministry said it would also investigate and punish people who took bribes along with Meng.

“The investigation of Meng Hongwei fully shows there is no privilege and no exception in front of the law, and anyone who violates the law must be severely punished,” the ministry said.

Officials “should never be allowed to negotiate terms and ‘prices’ with the Communist Party,” the ministry said.

Under Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), China has been engaged in a sweeping crackdown on official corruption.

The French Ministry of the Interior on Friday said that Meng’s family had not heard from him since Sept. 25, and French authorities said his wife was under police protection after receiving threats.

Meng, 64, became president of the global police cooperation agency in late 2016 amid a broader effort by China to secure leadership posts in international organizations, prompting concern at the time from rights groups that Beijing might try to leverage his position to pursue dissidents abroad.

Presidents of Interpol are seconded from their national administrations and remain in their home post while representing the international policing body.

“The president heads the executive committee which meets on average four times a year and sets the strategic orientation for the organization,” an Interpol source said, when asked if Meng spent most of his time in France or China.

“The president by virtue of the fact that he or her retains a national post, by virtue of that you would expect him or her to spend some of their time back home. But there is an office for the Interpol president, there are resources at his or her disposal: office, staff etc.,” the Interpol source said.

The source declined to say whether it was typical for an Interpol president to bring his family to France, or whether Interpol provided housing for its president.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that China would continue to provide support for Interpol’s work.

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