Interpol said Sunday it had received the resignation of its president, Meng Hongwei, a Chinese government official who has been missing since last week.
Hongwei’s resignation deepens the mystery of his disappearance after he went to his home country, China last week. His wife said on Sunday that her last contact with him came via a WhatsApp text message with a knife emoji and the instructions, "Wait for my call."
Interpol tweeted Sunday night that it received Meng's resignation and that Kim Jong Yang of South Korea, a vice president representing Asia on Interpol's executive committee, would serve as acting president until Interpol's general assembly picks a permanent president next month.
Statement by the INTERPOL General Secretariat on the resignation of
Meng Hongwei. pic.twitter.com/c2daKd9N39
— INTERPOL (@INTERPOL_HQ) October 7, 2018
Interpol has asked Chinese authorities for information about Meng Hongwei. In a statement posted to Twitter on Saturday, Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock said, "Interpol has requested through official law enforcement channels clarification from China's authorities on the status of Interpol President Meng Hongwei."
"Interpol's General Secretariat looks forward to an official response from China's authorities to address concerns over the President's well-being," the statement continued.
After Hongwei’s disappearance became international headlines, the disciplinary arm of China's Communist Party released a statement saying Meng "is under investigation by the National Supervision Commission for alleged violations of laws."
The party provided no additional details.
Meng's wife went to police in Lyon on Thursday to report his disappearance, according to the French Interior Ministry. She told police that she last heard from him 10 days prior and had received threats on social media and by telephone, according to the statement.
"France is looking into the situation of the President of Interpol and is concerned about the threats his wife has received," the statement said.
It adds that a "suitable police mechanism" was put in place to guarantee Grace Meng's safety, and that the prosecutor's office in Lyon has opened an investigation.