Meng Hongwei’s disappearance was originally reported by his wife, who told French police in the city of Lyon one week after his travel to China. The incident has sparked questions and widespread condemnation on the communist rule of law in the country.
Apparently under pressure of criticism, the Chinese anti-corruption body Central Supervisory Commission issued a brief statement on Sunday, “Public Security Ministry Vice-Minister Meng Hongwei is currently under investigation by the National Supervisory Commission for suspected violations of law.”
It did not say why, or provide details about Mr Meng’s whereabouts or condition.
According to sources released to Lude Talks on Sunday, the 64-year-old Meng Hongwei was beaten and taken into custody right after he arrived at Beijing International Airport, and over 100 armed police were deployed for his arrest.
Beijing has made another international joke with its “rule of law”, and has shamed the Interpol who later said it had made a formal request to China for information about Mr Meng.
Mr Meng’s wife Grace, who remains in France, has been placed under police protection after receiving threats, according to local media.
Grace told reporters in Lyon that she had not heard from her husband since September 25. She said he used his Interpol phone to send her an emoji image of a knife that day, four minutes after he sent a message saying “Wait for my call,” according to Associated Press.
Ms Meng said the call never came and she does not know what happened to him.
According to AP, she was accompanied to the hotel where she held her press conference by two French police officers who were assigned to look after her.
“From now on, I have gone from sorrow and fear to the pursuit of truth, justice and responsibility toward history,” she said. “For the husband whom I deeply love, for my young children, for the people of my motherland, for all the wives and children’s husbands and fathers to no longer disappear.”
She would not allow reporters to show her face, saying she feared for her own safety and the safety of her children. Her voice trembled with emotion as she read a prepared statement.
The scandalous Interpol has another media statement concerning Meng Hongwei on October 5, “We are aware of media reports in connection with the alleged disappearance of Interpol President Meng Hongwei. This is a matter for the relevant authorities in both Fance and China. Jurgen Stock, Interpol Secretary General, is the full time official responsible for the day to day running of the Organization. Interpol’s General Secretariat headquarters will not comment further.”
Mr Meng was the first person from China to serve as Interpol’s president, a post that is largely symbolic but powerful in status. His term as Interpol president was originally due to run until 2020.
The organisation links up police officials from its 192 member states, who can use Interpol to disseminate their search for a fugitive or a missing person.
Only at the behest of a country does the information go public via a “red notice”, the closest thing to an international arrest warrant. “Yellow notices” are issued for missing persons.
Before his Interpol employment, Mr Meng has held various positions within China’s security establishment, and has been Public Security Ministry Vice-Minister since 2004.
His appointment as Interpol president in 2016 alarmed some human rights organisations, fearful it would embolden China to strike out at dissidents and refugees abroad. Critics said China just paid a huge sum of money to buy that position.
“If he has really gone missing within the Chinese state apparatus, whom did he anger, or what could he have done for Beijing to willingly, and publicly, forfeit the top job at Interpol?” asked BBC editor Celia Hatton.
A member of the Communist Party, Mr Meng worked with former security chief and Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, who is now serving a life sentence for corruption. Many Chinese have linked his arrest to Zhou’s corruption and conspiracy to overturn President Xi Jinping.
The Chinese effort to track down corrupt officials abroad, known as Operation Fox Hunt, has led to claims in some countries that Chinese law-enforcement agents have been operating covertly on their soil without the approval or consent of local authorities.
China currently has 44 outstanding red notices, mostly related to murder, intentional injury and drug smuggling, according to Interpol’s web site. Many netizens think it as retribution to Meng as he has done so such evil on his post. “The CCP works within a black box; now this black box is used for captive of Interpol’s head man,” as one netizen puts it.
During Meng’s tenure, Interpol also issued a red notice for fugitive Chinese billionaire Miles Kwok, who threatened to reveal corruption at the country’s highest levels, and now tells about the reasons behind Meng’s arrest.
“October 7, take a look at this video statement by Meng’s wife. All CCP members should have understood the reasoning behind this! This is what all CCP members deserve at the end. Only a China under real rule of law will give its people justice and safety! One year ago, I said many times that Meng Hongwei had helped Wang Qishan and Meng Jianzhu to kill too many people by means of ‘red notice’! He himself directed the murder of Wang Jian and ever since that date, his own days are numbered. At last, to prevent him from speaking the truth, the state traitors must have him murdered. With this, 90 million CCP members should wake up now.” Miles said in his tweet.
Meng’s office in Lyon is less than 300 kilometres from the hilltop village in the region of Provence, the place where HNA Chairman Wang Jian was murdered, and where both the US and French governments, according to Miles earlier last month, have joined in the investigations.
Things happen naturally as time passes. As Miles’s press conference is coming near in November, more people like Ms Meng would stand out and say NO to the CCP.
By Cloudy Seagail