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China claims detained former Interpol chief accepted bribes 

China claims detained former Interpol chief accepted bribes The former Chinese head of Interpol, who went missing last month, was accused of accepting bribes on Monday, becoming the latest top official to fall into President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption dragnet. After days of concealing the fate of Meng Hongwei - who is also China's vice minister for public security - from the international community, the public security ministry said Meng had accepted bribes but provided no further details on the allegations or the conditions and location of Meng's apparent detention. French officials disclosed on Friday that Meng had been reported missing after leaving France for China, while his wife voiced concern for his life on Sunday some two weeks after he texted her an ominous knife emoji. His case could tarnish Beijing's efforts to gain leadership posts in international organisations, but it is also a black eye for France-based Interpol, which is tasked with finding missing people, analysts say. Interpol said on Sunday that Meng had resigned and would be temporarily replaced by a South Korean official until a new election in November - hours after China's anti-corruption body, the National Supervisory Commission, said he was under investigation for violating unspecified laws. The public security ministry released a statement Monday afternoon, saying Meng accepted bribes and that the investigation "clearly expressed comrade Xi Jinping's" determination to fully carry out the struggle against corruption. It did not provide more details about the allegations. The last message sent by missing Interpol President, Meng Hongwei, to his wife, Grace Meng Credit:  John Leicester/ AP "It shows that no one is above the law, with no exceptions. Anyone who violates the law will be seriously investigated and severely punished," the statement said, adding others suspected of accepting bribes alongside Meng would be investigated and dealt with. Meng is the latest high-profile Chinese citizen to disappear, with a number of top government officials, billionaire business magnates and even an A-list celebrity vanishing for weeks or months at a time. When - or if - they reappear, it is often in court. Meng, the first Chinese president of Interpol, was last heard from on September 25 as he left Lyon, where Interpol is headquartered. Grace, the wife of the missing Interpol president Meng Hongwey, talks to journalists on October 7. She did not want her face shown Credit: JEFF PACHOUD/ AFP Meng was appointed in 2016, despite concerns from human rights groups about giving Chinese President Xi Jinping a victory in his bid to paint the communist-led country as a responsible player in global affairs. But his disappearance could be a setback for China. Interpol was kept in the dark about his disappearance, prompting its secretary general Juergen Stock, who oversees day-to-day operations, to admit that the agency was seeking "clarification" on his whereabouts. "Any international organisation should think twice before considering a Chinese candidate to be its head," Bonnie Glaser, senior Asia advisor at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies, told AFP.




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