China reveals 'missing' Interpol president Meng Hongwei 'is under investigation'

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

Interpol director, Meng Hongwei, who is missing since late September, is under investigation by China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, Beijing confirms.

He is "suspected of violating the law and is now under the monitoring and investigation" of China's new anti-corruption body, the National Supervision Commission, the party's watchdog for graft and political disloyalty said on its website.

The wife of Interpol's president, who has gone missing in China, has asked the global community for help and thinks he's in danger after she received a suspicious message from him before his disappearance.

"Interpol's general secretariat looks forward to an official response from China's authorities to address concerns over the president's wellbeing".

"This matter belongs to the worldwide community", she told a press conference.

After China admitted it had Meng in custody, the paper quoted Beijing-based political commentator Zhang Lifan, who said: "I guess something urgent must have happened".

When asked about the Chinese announcement, France's Interior Ministry said it had no information.

That day, his wife said he sent a message telling her to "wait for my call", before sending the emoji signifying danger.

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The mystery of what happened to Mr Meng has now been cleared up: but the details of the charges weighing against him, and the fate that awaits him are as opaque as ever, says the BBC's Hugh Schofield in Paris.

Speaking to reporters in France on Sunday, Meng's wife Grace said she had received a message from his phone containing a knife emoji before his disappearance.

China's recently established National Supervisory Commission holds sweeping powers to investigate the country's public servants with few requirements for transparency.

Xi, China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, has overseen a harsh crackdown on civil society that is aimed at squelching dissent and activism among lawyers and rights advocates.

Asked if she believed that he has been arrested, she said: "In China, what happened, I'm not sure".

Interpol has downplayed the concerns, saying the president has little influence over the organisation's day-to-day operations, which are handled by secretary-general Stock, a German.

During Meng's tenure, Interpol issued a red notice for fugitive Chinese billionaire real estate tycoon Guo Wengui, who threatened to reveal corruption at the country's highest levels.

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