China said on Sunday it was investigating Meng Hongwei for suspected wrongdoing after the head of the global law enforcement organization Interpol and Chinese vice minister for security was reported missing in France.
The statement by a Chinese anti-graft body was the first official word from China about Meng since his disappearance was reported in France on Friday. Meng had been reported missing by his wife after traveling last month from France, where Interpol is based, to China.
“Public Security Ministry Vice Minister Meng Hongwei is currently under investigation by the National Supervisory Commission for suspected violations of law,” the Chinese anti-corruption body said in a brief statement on its website.
Interpol said later that Meng had resigned as president of the organization, and that South Korean national Kim Jong Yang would become its acting president, while it would appoint a new president at a Nov 18-21 meeting of the organization in Dubai.
Interpol said earlier over the weekend that it had asked Beijing to clarify Meng’s situation.
“Today, Sunday 7 October, (at) the Interpol General Secretariat in Lyon, France received the resignation of Mr Meng Hongwei as President of Interpol with immediate effect,” Interpol said in a statement on Sunday.
When asked about the Chinese announcement on Sunday, France’s Interior Ministry said it had no information.
The French ministry said last Friday that Meng’s family had not heard from him since Sept. 25, and French authorities said his wife was under police protection after getting threats.