Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

China Detains Interpol Head Over Bribery Allegations

Interpol President Meng Hongwei in Lyon France in May 2018 China says detained former Interpol chief is focus of bribery probe
Steven Clarke | 12 October, 2018, 05:55

He had been on a three-country tour, to Norway, Sweden and Serbia, for Interpol before his latest trip back to China, she said.

The scant details provided on Monday raised further questions about the scope of the allegations made against Meng and whether they pertain in any way to his work at the global police agency.

Later, Interpol said it had received his resignation from the presidency with immediate effect.

It seems, from a Western perspective, that Chinese officials must have feared something significant to have taken an action that has not only jeopardised Meng's successes at Interpol but also further tarnished China's worldwide reputation. The newspaper cited an unnamed source. Earlier in June, actress Fan Bingbing disappeared from the public eye, only to reappear again on October 3 with a public apology and a fine of 883 million yuan ($129m; £98.9m) for tax evasion and other offenses.

As a result, Grace Meng is now under French police protection.

Earlier Sunday, Meng's wife, Grace, held a press conference in Lyon at which she disclosed that the last communication she received from her husband was an emoji of a knife that he texted on September 25, the Associated Press reported.

Grace Meng urged national governments to intervene, saying she feared that her husband's life was in danger. "I don't know what has happened to him", she said.

Meng has apparently been caught up in Chinese President Xi Jinping's

On the day he went missing, she said he had sent her a social media message telling her to "wait for my call", before sending a knife emoticon, signifying danger.

"We still don't have sufficient information about what's happening [with Meng] or whether it has anything to do with Chinese domestic politics", he added.

Juergen Stock, the agency's secretary-general who oversees day-to-day operations, said Saturday the Interpol was seeking "clarification" on his whereabouts from Chinese authorities. Meng's leadership also provided a mechanism to legitimise China's global efforts to silence critics among its diaspora. Kim Jong-yang of South Korea was appointed interim president on Sunday and made the agency's first comment on the affair.

Mr. Caster contrasted China's handling of Mr. Meng with the criminal allegations that ended the career of Dominique Strauss-Kahn as managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

A new president will be elected for the remaining two years of Mr. Meng's tenure during a general assembly meeting in Dubai next month. 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.

He headed the organisation's executive committee, which provides overall guidance and direction. His election in 2016 had raised concerns among human rights groups, which feared that Beijing would use the organization to round up Chinese dissidents overseas. He is the latest to be ensnared in President Xi Jinping's anti-graft campaign.

China's beleaguered rights activists point out that as someone with a seat atop the country's powerful public security apparatus, Meng has helped build the opaque system of largely unchecked power wielded by the ruling Communist Party to which he's now fallen victim. It has already brought cases that appeared to be only tangentially related to political corruption - which experts agree is rife in China - suggesting that its mandate includes securing the Communist Party's political control. Presently, the Chinese nationals hold top positions at several global institutions including the UN, IMF, World Bank and UNESCO. It is widely apprehended that detention of Mr Meng would raise some concern among worldwide institutions and they could show reluctance in appointing Chinese officials to high positions in future. Instead, the statement condemned Meng personally, asserting that his "insistence on doing things in his own way means he has only himself to blame for being placed under investigation".

INDvsWI: Kohli back, Pant picked up for first 2 ODIs
In Pant, India have a chance to not only trial a new wicketkeeper in ODIs but also an explosive batsman in the middle order. The last time Shami played an ODI was in September 2017 against Australia.

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