(Adds comment from Guo)
BEIJING, April 19 (Reuters) - China's Foreign Ministry said
on Wednesday Interpol had issued a "red notice" for Guo Wengui,
a controversial property tycoon who has made claims of
high-level corruption within the ruling Communist Party.
Guo, who is known to have close ties with disgraced former
state security vice-minister Ma Jian, has mainly lived in the
United States since leaving China two years ago after what he
says was a business dispute with relatives of a retired top
Communist Party official.
The South China Morning Post first reported that an Interpol
"red notice" was issued for Guo at China's request on Tuesday
evening, citing unidentified sources.
The newspaper said Guo was suspected of bribing Ma with 60
million yuan ($8.71 million). Ma, who worked in
counter-espionage, is being prosecuted for graft and was
expelled from the Communist Party in December.
"What we understand is that Interpol has already issued a
'red notice' for criminal suspect Guo Wengui," foreign ministry
spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular press briefing in Beijing,
A "red notice" is an international alert for a wanted
Guo, writing on his Twitter account, said Interpol was an
organisation and not a government and had no administrative
powers, and that for many years he had had no Chinese identity
"This will only make Wengui fight even more resolutely to
the end with these bad people. This is all just the beginning!"
he wrote, without elaborating.
In an emailed response to questions, Interpol said it did
not comment on specific cases without the approval of the
country sharing information on investigations and fugitives.
China's Ministry of Public Security did not respond to
requests for comment.
Countries requesting "red notices" can also have them
published on the Interpol website. There was no such notice for
Guo or any of his known aliases as of Wednesday afternoon.
"If no Red Notice is published, this is either because one
has not been requested or issued for that person, or the
requesting country has asked that it not be publicised,"
Interpol said in its email.
($1 = 6.8867 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Philip Wen; Editing by Simon
Cameron-Moore, Robert Birsel)