Interpol President Reported Missing During Trip To China

Meng Hongwei president of Interpol gives an addresses at the opening of the Interpol World Congress in Singapore

PHOTO: The entrance hall of Interpol's headquarters in Lyon, France.

About the disappearance of Men Hunia said his wife. Amnesty International said Meng's rise to the international office was "alarming given China's long-standing practice of trying to use Interpol to arrest dissidents and refugees overseas".

There have been several cases in recent years of senior Chinese officials vanishing without explanation, only for the government to announce weeks or even months later that they have been put under investigation, often for suspected corruption.

Meng, who is also a vice-minister at China's Ministry of Public Security, is under investigation in China, the Post reported amid mystery surrounding his disappearance after his wife reported to the French police that he had gone missing.

But the South China Morning Post, citing an anonymous source, reports that he was "taken away" by Chinese authorities immediately after he arrived in China.

Beyond that, French authorities have not released any details about the investigation; instead, it has been described by multiple sources who spoke to media outlets.

"Interpol is aware of media reports in connection with the alleged disappearance of Interpol President Meng Hongwei". "This is a matter for the relevant authorities in both France and China", it said.

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Roderic Broadhurst, a professor of criminology at Australian National University, said Meng's disappearance would be "pretty disconcerting" for people in global bodies that work with China, and could ultimately damage China's efforts to develop cooperative legal assistance measures with other countries.

France, China and Interpol officials are yet to comment on the reports.

Before being elected head of Interpol in November 2016, Meng was vice minister of public security in China.

Beijing has tried for many years to enlist the help of foreign countries to arrest and deport back to China citizens it accuses of crimes, including corruption and terrorism.

But human rights groups warned of possible abuses.

Meng's wife lives in Lyon, France, where the worldwide police organisation has its headquarters.

While Meng is head of the executive committee that oversees Interpol, the agency is run by Secretary General Juergen Stock.

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