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Bill Steinman
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China detains Interpol chief for bribery

Chinese authorities said Monday they detained the president of Interpol during an investigation for bribery and other financial crimes.

Meng Hongwei had disappeared a week earlier while in China on a visit home.

He resigned Sunday as Interpol’s president. He had served two years of his four-year term.

Meng’s wife had appealed to France for help finding her husband.

China’s Ministry of Public Security said Monday that Meng, 64, was being investigated for accepting bribes and other “willful” crimes.

Paris-based Interpol — the International Criminal Police Organization — isn’t a police force. It’s an information clearing house that promotes international police cooperation.

Meng was also the vice minister of China’s national police.

In its bio of him, Interpol said Meng had “almost 40 years’ experience in criminal justice and policing . . . related to legal institutions, narcotics control, counter-terrorism, border control, immigration and international cooperation.”

China’s Public Security Minister Zhao Kezhi said Monday, “We should deeply recognize the serious damage that Meng Hongwei’s bribe-taking and suspected violations of the law have caused the party and the cause of public security and deeply learn from this lesson.”

Interpol is best known for its Red Notices — requests by Interpol members (all countries except North Korea) for other members to detain and extradite a wanted individual.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.

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