Published: Fri, October 12, 2018

Interpol's former Chinese chief accused of bribery

Interpol's former Chinese chief accused of bribery

As president of Interpol, he was based in Lyon, the French city where the organization has its headquarters, and he regularly gave speeches promoting Interpol's priorities and China's contribution to them. Facilitating worldwide police cooperation among its 192 members in a world where crime is increasingly transnational and geopolitical relationships are fraught is tough.

Meng's investigation comes as a part of anti-corruption drive energetically promoted by Xi Jinping, which has seen hundreds of officials prosecuted across the country. "It also specifically mentioned that there is no privilege or exception before the law". The same day, the global police organization announced that it had accepted Meng's resignation with "immediate effect".

During Meng's tenure, China's public security bureau also arrested and interrogated a number of prominent Chinese dissidents, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died of liver cancer while in police custody past year.

Meng was an active president.

Vice-President Federal Criminal Police Office and German candidate for the post of Secretary General of Interpol Jurgen Stock poses during the 83rd Interpol General Assembly, at the Grimaldi Forum, in Monaco, November 4, 2014. He sought to bring the 70-year-old agency into the 21st century, overseeing the development of clearer structures for cooperation and innovation. Zhou, 75, is the highest Chinese Communist Party official who served as security chief in the previous Hu Jintao regime to have been punished in the massive anti-corruption campaign by President Xi in which over a million officials were punished since he came to power in 2012. And he had a hand in Chinese police operations that reached overseas, including Operation Fox Hunt, which sought to repatriate hundreds of former Chinese officials and businesspeople who had fled overseas and were suspected of corruption.

But midway through his four-year term, Meng vanished after travelling to China from France, where Interpol is based. By September 2017, the Chinese government had over 3,000 active investigations being actioned through Interpol, with some 200 red notices-international arrest warrants-submitted by Chinese authorities.

The revelation that Chinese authorities would be bold enough to forcibly make even a senior public security official with worldwide stature disappear has cast a shadow over the image Beijing has sought to cultivate as a modern country with the rule of law. Some of them might have been pursued by Chinese authorities under Meng's watch.

We had the pleasure of hearing a far-reaching speech from President Xi, a demonstration of his strategic foresight and leadership.

The Chinese journalist Chen Jieren, who had accused a party official in Hunan province of corruption, has been detained since July by the NSC and denied access to his lawyer, according to Radio Free Asia.

Grace Meng wouldn't speculate on why her husband may have fallen out of favor, saying he had stayed above the secrecy-shrouded world of factional party politics.

The public security ministry said Meng's case shows "that no one is above the law" and underscores the need to "thoroughly eliminate the pernicious influence of Zhou Yongkang". If Meng himself wasn't involved in such activities, he would have known where the bodies were buried-figuratively and perhaps literally.

The handling of the case "has shown the Chinese government's firm resolve to crackdown on corruption...", Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said during his routine briefing.

It seems unlikely that we'll know the truth for some time, if ever. It was only then, late Sunday at the end of a weeklong holiday, that the Chinese government disclosed that Mr. Meng was in custody, facing an investigation for "violations of law".

Meng spent decades working in Chinese law enforcement before his Interpol appointment, reaching the title of vice minister for public security.

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