After reporting Meng Hongwei, the president of Interpol as missing in China, the Chinese government on Monday stated that Hongwei was “under scrutiny” and being probed on corruption charges. As per the statement from Interpol, Meng resigned from his designation with immediate effect.
However, this progress comes as a stunner in this weird chronicle that started unwrapping last week.
Meng headed Interpol, an international organization that synchronizes law enforcement agencies on the global scale. Apparently, he traveled from France to China on September 29.
Then poof! he vanished into thin air.
Meng’s significant other approached the authorities in Lyon, France, on October 4—the headquarter of Interpol—to explain to them how she had lost contact with her husband after he alighted in China. She also informed them that Meng had texted her a knife emoji before he disappeared which she took as a sign that he was in danger.
The South China Morning Post further revealed the information indicating Meng’s former connections with the Communist Party and he lost his designation in the party last year.
The authorities, however, did not disclose many details about the charges that Meng is accused of or the reason behind his detention. The ministry of public security subtly indicated that he was being probed for corruption charges and other misconducts associated with his “willfulness.”
Meng assists to establish Interpol’s agendas and policies, though he doesn’t look after the everyday operations of the world’s prime international police organization that provides support to law enforcement agencies in 192 countries.
Interpol’s Secretary, General Jürgen Stock looks after the day-to-day operation of Interpol. The agency is simply trying to gather further details about Meng’s status form the Chinese officials.
Interpol emphases on transnational or cross-border crimes, for instance, cases of missing people and human trafficking. It is best known for dispensing color-coded “notices,” or international alerts for law enforcement. Let’s say a red notice is basically a flag indicating that a specific agency is looking to detain someone.
In the past, China has used Interpol to pinpoint the alleged corrupt officials. This has led to the speculations that Meng too must have been enmeshed in an anti-corruption investigation—a doubt that was finally confirmed.
President Xi Jinping lately chaired a comprehensive anti-corruption blitzkrieg that he used to enhance his powers earlier this year. Those who are targeted by the anti-graft campaign frequently disappear for weeks or months.
But it is an exceptional plot twist that Meng himself got trapped in such a blitzkrieg. China had applauded his rise to the peak of the international agency when he took the chair in 2016, an incident marking China’s growing global influence.
Meng’s imprisonment might possibly end up being a drawback for the Chinese aspirations to rise to global leadership. A professor at Hofstra University’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law, Julian Ku said, “The fact that Meng was ‘disappeared’ without any notice to Interpol will undermine this Chinese global outreach effort. It is hard to imagine another international organization feeling comfortable placing a Chinese national in charge without feeling nervous that this might happen.”