Meng Hongwei: China confirms detention of Interpol chief

China has confirmed it is holding the missing head of Interpol, Meng Hongwei.

Beijing said he was under investigation by the country’s anti-corruption body for unspecified breaches of the law.

Mr Meng, who is also listed as a vice-minister of public security in China, was reported missing after travelling from the city of Lyon in France, where Interpol is based, to China.

His family had not heard from him since he left Interpol headquarters on 25 September.

Earlier, his wife, Grace Meng, told journalists she thought he was in danger.

She issued an emotional plea for international help to find her husband.

She said he had sent her a message with a knife emoticon on her mobile phone signifying he was in danger.

With her back to the cameras to avoid being identified, she held back sobs to read out a statement in Chinese and English.

“We are always connected by hearts. He would support me in doing this. The matter belongs to fairness and justice. The matter belongs to the international community. The matter belongs to the people of my motherland.”

On Saturday, the international police agency urged China to clarify Mr Meng’s status, saying it was concerned about the well-being of its president.

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.

The fact that news of his detention was released by Beijing’s anti-corruption authority suggests Mr Meng has been caught up in the broad anti-corruption campaign ordered by President Xi Jinping, and which has already led to the disappearance of many senior figures, our correspondent adds.