A chilling call to wife of ex-Interpol boss

China says detained former Interpol chief is focus of bribery probe

China confirms detaining missing ex-Interpol chief

Asked if Meng's sudden disappearance and investigation will affect the ability of Chinese officials to take top posts in worldwide agencies, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said: "This (investigation) has shown Chinese government's firm resolve to crack down on corruption and crimes and it is also been made very clear that this case fully demonstrates that the party is firm in fighting corruption and anybody will be punished in accordance with law seriously if they violate the law".

Chinese authorities scrambled to contain a public relations mess over the disappearance of the former Interpol president during his trip home to China, saying Monday that he was being lawfully investigated for bribery and other crimes. He was the first Chinese official to become Interpol president, which is based in Lyon. "This is very common now in China", she told The Associated Press during an interview.

Speculation has mounted that Meng, who also serves as a vice minister of China's public security ministry, may have been swept up in a broad anti-corruption campaign led by President Xi Jinping.

China is "not aware of the situation" surrounding reports that the wife of the detained Chinese former president of Interpol has been threatened, a foreign ministry spokesman said Wednesday.

Beijing said he was under investigation by the country's anti-corruption body for unspecified breaches of the law.

Meng Hongwei and Houlin Zhao (UN)His detention is "correct, wise and shows the determination of [President Xi]'s administration to continue its anti-corruption drive", said China's Public Security Ministry in a statement. Most officials investigated by anti-graft authorities are quietly spirited away for questioning, cut off from contact from their families and not allowed access to lawyers, sometimes for months.

Mr Meng is the latest high-profile disappearance in China, where a number of top government officials, billionaires and even an A-list celebrity have vanished in recent months. He focused on reforming Interpol and appears to have been actively engaged with the organisation's executive committee and general secretariat. The same day, the worldwide police organization announced that it had accepted Meng's resignation with "immediate effect". Meng could not be reached for comment.

Meng is now the latest high-ranking official, and one with an unusually prominent worldwide standing, to fall victim to a sweeping crackdown by the ruling party.

Nevertheless, Interpol is in good hands despite the loss of Meng. Interpol named him the first Chinese president of the organization in 2016, triggering global human rights concerns given the authoritarian and often arbitrary way the Chinese Communist Party wields power against political dissidents at home.

Speculation for the reasons behind Meng's swift downfall ranges from his access to sensitive information after a long career at the public security ministry to his tenure at Interpol, when the organisation revoked an worldwide alert for Dolkun Isa, president of the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress, which is critical of China's treatment of ethnic Uighurs in Xinjiang. It dealt a spectacular, self-inflicted blow to China's efforts to prove itself ready for more prominent roles in global affairs. "It is rather an insult to Interpol", he said. Under its terms it has appointed senior vice-president Kim Jong-yang of South Korea as acting president. "We still don't have sufficient information about what's happening or whether it has anything to do with Chinese domestic politics".

"We should resolutely oppose corruption and resolutely eliminate the pernicious influence of Zhou Yongkang", the statement by the Ministry of Public Security said.

At Monday's meeting, officials were told that they "must always maintain the political quality of being absolutely loyal to the party", the statement said.

At a regular news briefing on Monday, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Lu Kang, said that China's commitment to worldwide police cooperation would not be dented by Mr. Meng's fall.

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