Head of Interpol, Meng Hongwei, missing after China trip

France opens probe into missing Chinese head of Interpol

Meng has been missing since he travelled to China at the end of September, claimed his wife.

The French police said on Friday that they have launched a probe for Meng after being contacted by his wife.

"Interpol is aware of media reports in connection with the alleged disappearance of Interpol President Meng Hongwei".

Meng's position as Interpol's president is less hands-on than the organisation's secretary general, but he works out of its headquarters in Lyon, France, and has made frequent appearances at crime prevention gatherings. Le Monde claimed that the "loss" of the President of Interpol is not connected to any criminal episode.

Meng was appointed in 2016 as the head of Interpol - an worldwide police agency.

Meng has also served as vice chairman of the national narcotics control commission and director of the National Counter-Terrorism Office for China. Europe 1 radio reported on the disappearance of the Chinese national and the investigation earlier on Friday.


Hongwei's family have not heard from him since September 25, the ministry added, earlier than the September 29 date police sources had previously reported.

Interpol has 192 member nations, in an organization that allows police agencies to collaborate and share resources.

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.

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.

A person familiar with the investigation into the disappearance said the initial working assumption of Western investigators was that Meng had antagonised Chinese authorities in some way and had been detained as a result.

Details about the case are still emerging; as for where Meng is believed to have gone missing, a source told Agence France-Presse, "He did not disappear in France".

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