Interpol Asks China for Info on Agency's Missing President

Interpol Asks China for Info on Agency's Missing President

It was not clear why Meng, 64, who has been Interpol's president for two years, had travelled to China.

Meng's wife says she hasn't heard from him since he left Lyon at the end of September. The paper, which based its reporting on an unnamed source, said the reason for Meng's questioning was unknown.

South China Morning Post, a media house based in Hong Kong quoted a source saying that chief Meng was "taken away" for questioning by discipline authorities "as soon as he landed in China" last week.

Although the newspaper report says it's "unclear" what he's being investigated for, Meng's vanishing act bears hallmarks of what happens to senior officials when they are suspected of violating party rules, usually alleged corruption.

What is the French investigation looking at?

The French police acted swiftly and launched a probe for Meng on Friday after being contacted by his wife.

But the French interior ministry later said the correct date was 25 September. "Exchanges with Chinese authorities continue", the ministry added. "That is ironic, because Meng Hongwei seems to be a victim of their disciplinary procedures", she said.

The organization links up police officials from its 192 member states, who can use Interpol to disseminate their search for a fugitive, or a missing person.

So far, Chinese authorities have not made an official statement in this regard. Since Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, well over a million party officials have been disciplined in some way.


Far from being a Hollywood-style agency with agents toting weapons across the globe, Interpol is low-profile and discrete about its cases, unless it wants to talk.

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

The organisation went out of its way to say that its secretary general, not Meng, was responsible for the day-to-day running of Interpol.

Meng oversees the agency's executive committee, which sets overall strategy. Mr Meng's term is scheduled to run until 2020.

Neither China's public security ministry nor its foreign ministry have replied to queries about the president.

Kinzelbach also urged Interpol to issue a yellow notice - a global alert used to help locate missing persons - on Meng's behalf.

At the time, Amnesty International called Meng's appointment "at odds with Interpol's mandate to work in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights".

Meanwhile, the rights groups have enunciated concern over his disappearance by claiming that Beijing might use his position at the body to go after dissidents overseas.

China now has 44 outstanding red notices, mostly related to murder, intentional injury and drug smuggling, according to Interpol's web site. However, it does not have the power to send officers into countries to arrest individuals or issue arrest warrants.

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