Could cryptic text with knife emoji provide clue in Interpol president's disappearance?

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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.

China's antigraft watchdog said late on Sunday that the Chinese authorities were investigating Meng Hongwei, who heads the global law enforcement organization Interpol, for suspected violations of the law. She said she feared for his life.

The announcement came on Sunday shortly after the wife of Meng Hongwei said her husband sent her an image of a knife before he disappeared during a trip to their native China.

"Interpol's general secretariat looks forward to an official response from China's authorities to address concerns over the president's wellbeing".

She says she hasn't heard from him since and does not know what happened to him.

She read a statement in Chinese and English during the press conference, but kept her back to reporters not allowing them to see her face and refused to be photographed, saying she did not want to be identified as she feared for her safety and that of her two children. "For the husband whom I deeply love, for my young children, for the people of my motherland, for all the wives and children, so that their husbands and fathers will no longer disappear".

She said they were in daily contact during his trip before he went missing in China.

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

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According to a report by the South China Morning Post newspaper, Meng was taken in for questioning by Chinese authorities.

Following the appointment, critics suggested that Meng's appointment gave Beijing a chance to enlist more worldwide help in tracking down alleged economic criminals, including corrupt officials, targeted by President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign.

He appointed Meng vice security minister in 2004.

Such targets, who have been subject to arbitrary detention and made unexplained disappearances, include pro-democracy activists, human rights lawyers, officials accused of graft or political disloyalty and the estimated one million ethnic minority Muslims who have vanished into internment camps in the country's far west.

INTERPOL President Meng Hongwei poses during a visit to the headquarters of International Police Organisation in Lyon, France, May 8, 2018.

It was about an hour later that China's National Supervision Commission issued its statement confirming Mr Meng had been detained.

She wouldn't speculate on her husband's current whereabouts.

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