Missing Interpol President Was Quietly Detained by China

Meng served a lengthy term as China's vice minister for public security

It comes as authorities in China said the Interpol president is under investigation on suspicion of breaking the law.

Nothing has been seen or heard of Meng since shortly after he arrived in China on a flight from France.

Grace Meng believes her husband to be in danger, AFP reported, citing a statement to reporters in Lyon, France, on Sunday.

This photo shows the last message sent by Meng Hongwei to his wife, Grace Meng.

She said he regularly traveled back and forth between Lyon and China for his job.

The global police agency Interpol announced Sunday that its missing president had resigned "with immediate effect" after China said the man was under investigation over unspecified legal violations and his wife told reporters that he had texted her an image of a knife, leading her to believe he was in danger. Meng, a member of the Communist Party, worked with former security chief and Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, who is now serving a life sentence for corruption.

China now has 44 outstanding red notices, mostly related to murder, intentional injury and drug smuggling, according to Interpol's website.

The organisation's secretary general, Jürgan Stock, has demanded a "clarification" from Beijing.

In fact, according to the Times, Meng's presidency had alarmed some human rights groups at the time he was appointed, as they anxious he would use Interpol resources to help China go after dissidents overseas.

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The statement was the first from China since Meng's disappearance was reported in France on Friday. France has opened an investigation.

Grace Meng wouldn't speculate on Sunday on what might have happened to him.

She's received no news from her husband since, and doesn't know what has happened to him, AP said.

Grace Meng asked journalists not to show her face as feared for her own safety and the safety of her two children.

Late Sunday, China confirmed Meng had been officially detained for investigation by the country's anti-corruption body for unspecified breaches of the law.

When asked about the Chinese announcement, France's Interior Ministry said it had no information. The one-sentence announcement about his being the focus of an investigation, issued when it was almost midnight in China, said only that Meng was in the custody of party investigators.

The South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based newspaper known for its connections inside the Chinese government, said Meng was "taken away" for questioning upon landing in China last week.

"From now on, I have gone from sorrow and fear to the pursuit of truth, justice and responsibility toward history", she said. "That's why (the authorities) chose to take such immediate action at the risk of losing face on the worldwide stage".

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