Missing Interpol President Detained in China for Questioning

Missing Interpol President Detained in China for Questioning

Missing Interpol President Detained in China for Questioning

"Interpol has requested through official law enforcement channels clarification from China's authorities on the status of Interpol President Meng Hongwei", a statement said Saturday.

The Lyon-based worldwide police agency says Saturday it used law-enforcement channels to submit its request about the status of Meng Hongwei.

Interpol, based in Lyon, would say only that reports that its president is missing is "a matter for the relevant authorities in both France and China".

His wife, who remained in France with their two children, reported her concerns to the police, who launched a probe.

The French official said Mr Meng did arrive in China.

The Post said Meng was listed on the website of China's Ministry of Public Security as a vice minister, but added that he lost his seat on its Communist Party Committee, the real decision-making body, in April.

When Mr Meng was elected in 2016 as Interpol president, rights groups expressed concern that he would pursue an agenda of politicised policing that targeted Mr Xi's opponents.

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.

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Although the commission did not detail the allegations against Meng, its mandate is to investigate corruption cases as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's anti-graft campaign.

But Interpol walks a fine line between its noble mission - facilitating worldwide police co-operation - and the politics and policies of some of its member countries.

He was elected Interpol president in November 2016, the first Chinese to take up the post, and is scheduled to serve until 2020. The Interpol headquarters are based in Lyon.

His duties in China would have put him in close proximity to former leaders, some who fell afoul of Xi's campaign.

"France is looking into the situation of the President of Interpol and is concerned about the threats his wife has received", the statement said. He likely dealt extensively with former security chief Zhou Yongkang, now serving a life sentence for corruption.

Mr Xi has also placed a premium on obtaining the return of officials and businesspeople accused of fraud and corruption from overseas, making Mr Meng's position all the more sensitive.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to a request for comment from reporters.

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