Published: Mon, October 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Interpol president reported missing during China trip

Interpol president reported missing during China trip

Paris - Interpol has officially asked Chinese authorities to provide information on the global police organization's missing president, Meng Hongwei.

Meng Hongwei, 64, was last seen leaving for China from the worldwide police organisation's headquarters in Lyon, southeast France, in late September, a source close to the enquiry told AFP.

The newspaper said that upon landing last week Meng was "taken away" for questioning by what it said were "discipline authorities".

The National Supervisory Commission, which handles corruption cases involving public servants, broke the official silence early Monday, saying in a one-line statement that Meng "is now under investigation on suspicion of violating the law".

French police are investigating the disappearance of Interpol chief, Meng Hongwei, who was reported missing after travelling from France to his native China, and they have placed his wife under protection after threats, the interior ministry said on Friday.

According to a report by the South China Morning Post newspaper, Meng was taken in for questioning by Chinese authorities.

Meng has nearly 40 years' experience in criminal justice and policing, and has overseen matters related to legal institutions, narcotics control and counter-terrorism, according to Interpol's website.

The statement noted that Interpol's secretary general, and not its president, is responsible for the worldwide police agency's operations.

China's biggest star has not been seen in public for more than two months, and her disappearance is raising questions about the Chinese justice system. "France is puzzled about the situation of Interpol's president and concerned about the threats made to his wife".

Meng's wife lives in Lyon and recently contacted French police after not hearing from her husband since he traveled to China in late September.

In addition to his Interpol post, Mr Meng is also a vice minister for public security in China.

Mr Meng's case is notable for a few reasons.

Meng has a shiny curriculum vita, having held down various positions within China's security establishment, including as a vice minister of public security - the national police force - since 2004.

China, in the midst of a weeklong holiday, offered no comment on the disappearance of Meng.

Under China's supervision law, a suspect's family and the employer must be notified within 24 hours of detention, except in cases where doing so would hinder an investigation.

And he has also overseen matters related to legal institutions, narcotics control and counter-terrorism, according to Interpol's website.

"Yellow notices" are issued for missing persons.

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