Wife says Interpol officer sent knife image as danger signal

Grace Meng told journalists that she thought the knife emoji meant her husband was in danger

Grace Meng, whose husband Meng Hongwei seemingly vanished while on a trip home to China, said she had not heard from the Interpol chief since September 25.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Chinese Communist Party's secretive internal investigation agency, had no announcements on its website about Meng and could not be reached for comment.

Interpol said it had received his resignation on Sunday with immediate effect. It did not say why.

Late Sunday, China confirmed Meng had been officially detained for investigation by the country's anti-corruption body for unspecified breaches of the law.

According to the Associated Press, Grace Meng, Meng Hongwei's wife, reported on October 5 that she hadn't heard from her husband since September 25, when her husband was on a trip back to China.

The National Supervisory Commission, which handles corruption cases involving public servants, broke the official silence early Monday, saying in a one-line statement that Meng "is now under investigation on suspicion of violating the law".

Under President Xi Jinping, China has been engaged in a crackdown on corruption.

"Interpol has requested through official law enforcement channels clarification from China's authorities on the status of Interpol President Meng Hongwei", Jurgen Stock, the secretary-general of the worldwide police body said in a statement.

Grace Meng said her husband's whereabouts is a matter that "belongs to the worldwide community".

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Mrs Meng urged national governments to intervene, saying she feared that her husband's life was in danger.

The organisation's Senior Vice President Kim Jong-yang has been appointed acting president, an Interpol statement said on Twitter. "I'm not sure what has happened to him".

China's top anti-corruption agency said in a one-sentence statement Sunday that Meng was suspected of breaking the law, without giving details.

Meng, 64, was named to the post of Interpol president in late 2016, part of a broader Chinese effort to gain leadership positions in key worldwide organisations.

His disappearance was made public on Friday, when French authorities said they were opening an investigation to find out what happened to Meng, a Chinese national who served a lengthy term as the vice minister for public security. "This damages the image of the Chinese system and shows how it takes people in without due process, so clearly they saw significant, overriding political reasons to do this".

"I'm pretty sure they would have expected an extraordinary response from the global community before taking such a decision", he told the Post.

Later, upon learning about the announcement from China's anti-graft commission, she told AFP that her husband's case will be under the watch of "international law and worldwide public opinion", describing the situation as "political ruin".

"His job is very busy", she said.

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