Wife of Missing Interpol Head Describes Chilling Phone Call

Grace Meng says she was threatened a week after her last contact with husband Meng Hongwei
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 9, 2018 5:05 PM CDT
Grace Meng, the wife of missing Interpol President Meng Hongwei, who does not want her face shown, consults her mobile phone in the lobby of a hotel in Lyon, central France, where the police agency is...   (AP Photo/John Leicester)
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(Newser) – The call came at night and was chilling. "You listen, but you don't speak," the man on the other end said. "We've come in two work teams, two work teams just for you." In her first one-on-one interview since her husband's disappearance during a trip to China late last month, the wife of the former head of Interpol described the threatening phone call that prompted authorities in the French city where the international law enforcement agency is headquartered to place her under police protection. French authorities are still trying to determine whether China did indeed, as the mysterious caller menaced, dispatch agents to get to Grace Meng, the wife of Meng Hongwei. But she has good reason to be fearful: Speaking out about the fate of her high-profile husband risks China's ire and, she said, is putting her "in great danger." However, she hopes that doing so will help other families in similar circumstances.

"He has disappeared for so long and nobody has given me any information or told me where he has gone. This is very common now in China," she told the AP during an interview. Speaking late Monday at a hotel in Lyon, the French city where she lives and Interpol is based, Grace Meng said she had put their two boys to bed when she got the threatening call. It was one week after her last contact with her husband. On Sept, 25, he sent her from China an emoji of a knife—suggesting to her he was in danger. The man who called her on her mobile phone spoke in Chinese, she said. She said the only clue he gave about his identity was saying that he used to work for Meng, suggesting that the man was part of China's security apparatus. He also said he knew where she was. Meanwhile, Chinese authorities said Monday that Meng Hongwei is being lawfully investigated for taking bribes and other crimes that were a result of his "willfulness." Hours earlier, Interpol said Meng had resigned as the international police agency's president. It was not clear whether he did so of his own free will.

(Read more Interpol stories.)

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