BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that 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 resided 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 unnamed sources.
The report 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, without elaborating.
Guo did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
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 publicized," Interpol said in its email.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Philip Wen; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)