Paris, Oct 19 (IANS) The wife of former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei, who vanished into police custody after returning to China in September, has said that she isn’t sure her husband is still alive.
In an interview with the BBC conducted in France, Grace Meng said she has received threatening phone calls since the Chinese government announced her husband was in custody in early October.
“I think it is political persecution. I’m not sure he’s alive. They are cruel. They are dirty … They can do anything,” she said.
Meng Hongwei, also a Chinese Vice Public Security Minister, went missing on a trip to China in late September. His wife said at the time that the last contact she received from him was a text message saying to wait for his call, followed minutes later by a knife emoji.
Later, she reported him missing to French authorities, who opened an investigation. Interpol sent an official inquiry to the Chinese government asking for the whereabouts of their missing chief.
On October 8, Beijing’s Ministry of Public Security said it had detained Meng following his return to China, saying he was being investigated for corruption.
“(Meng) insisted on taking the wrong path and had only himself to blame (for his downfall),” the country’s top law enforcement official, Zhao Kezhi, was quoted as saying in the statement.
No further information has been released by the Chinese government and Meng has not been seen in public since he left France for China in September.
Shortly after Beijing announced Meng’s arrest, Interpol said it had received and accepted his resignation with “immediate effect”.
Meng was the first Chinese official to lead the international policing body and his appointment just two years ago in 2016 was greeted enthusiastically by the country’s state media.
As President, Meng oversaw the agency’s executive committee, which sets overall strategy.