Interpol president reportedly missing in China; French police investigating

Meng Hongwei president of Interpol

Meng Hongwei president of Interpol

Meng Hongwei's family have reportedly not seen or heard from him since he left the headquarters of the global policing organization in the French city of Lyon last week for a trip back to China.

Meng Hongwei's wife contacted police in Lyon, the French city where the agency has its headquarters, after not hearing from her husband since he travelled to China on September 29, police sources said.

Meng, 64, has been unaccounted for since he left France for China in late September, Europe 1 radio reported.

Meng's wife last heard from him 10 days ago, a spokeswoman for Interpol told CNN, declining to give her name.

French police are investigating what is officially termed in France a "worrying disappearance".

Mr Meng, who was formerly China's vice minister for public security and a head of Interpol China, was elected president of Interpol in November 2016. There has been no information about his whereabouts since Hongwei left France for China.




Chinese politician Meng Hongwei was first reported missing by his wife after traveling to China.

Beijing saw Meng's election as a chance to enlist more worldwide help in tracking down alleged economic criminals, including corrupt officials, targeted by President Xi Jinping's anti-graft campaign. He is not believed to have disappeared in France, where the International Criminal Police Organization is based, according to French media, quoting authorities in France. He was due to serve until 2020.

Interpol staff can carry special passports to help speed deployment in emergency situations but that would not have given Meng any specific rights or immunity in his home country.

Interpol President Meng Hongwei has reportedly gone missing.

Rights groups have previously expressed concern Beijing might try to use Mr Meng's position at the body to go after dissidents overseas.

But Interpol has in the past denied this, saying its head does not intervene in day-to-day operations, which are handled by secretary-general Juergen Stock, a German. Interpol and Chinese authorities have remained silent so far.

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