Interpol's President Has Been Missing For More Than A Week

Interpol's President Has Been Missing For More Than A Week

China remained silent Saturday over the disappearance of the head of Interpol, deepening the mystery over the worldwide police chief's fate after reports said he was detained for questioning on arrival in his homeland.

Meng Hongwei (孟宏偉), 64, was last seen leaving for China late last month from Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France, a source close to the inquiry told reporters.

His disappearance was made public on Friday, when French authorities said they were opening an investigation to find out what happened to Meng, a Chinese national who served a lengthy term as the vice minister for public security.

Meng Hongwei, Interpol's president, boarded a plane and arrived in China, according to a French judicial official.

Mr Meng, who entered politics in 1972, has held several senior positions in China as well as vice minister of public security.

China's Ministry of Public Security did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.


"France is looking into the situation of the President of Interpol and is concerned about the threats his wife has received", the statement said, adding that a "suitable police mechanism" was put in place to guarantee her safety.

He lost his seat on the Communist Party Committee in China in April, South China Morning Post reported.

Interpol, which groups 192 countries and which is usually focused on finding people who are missing or wanted, said in a statement from its secretary general, Juergen Stock, that it had asked China for clarification.

Xi has been seeking the return of officials and businesspeople accused of fraud and corruption from overseas, sometimes with the help of Interpol in an arrangement human rights advocates say is prone to abuse.

"So far China has said absolutely nothing about the disappearance of Meng Hongwei".

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Communist Party's secretive internal investigation agency, had no announcements on its website about Meng and could not be reached for comment.


Meng Hongwei was reported missing after traveling to China.

The 36-year-old took to China's Twitter-like Weibo to acknowledge her wrongs, beg for her supporters" forgiveness, and apologise to "society, the friends who care about me, the public and the national tax authorities'.

But it does not have the power to send officers into countries to arrest individuals or issue arrest warrants.

In the past, Beijing saw Mr Meng's election to Interpol as a chance to enlist more global help in tracing alleged economic criminals, including corrupt officials. His term as Interpol president runs until 2020.

"As a matter of fact, Interpol cannot by itself investigate the whereabouts of its missing president, but it can, and in fact should, issue a yellow notice", she said.


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