Interpol chief missing, France launches investigation

Oct 08, 2018, 01:22
Interpol chief missing, France launches investigation

Interpol President Meng Hongwei has been detained in China for questioning as part of an investigation against him, a media report said Saturday, a day after he was reported missing in his native country.

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

"Exchanges with Chinese authorities continue", the ministry said in a statement.

One of the more public cases was that of Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing who only recently returned to social media after dropping off the radar in May. She told me that her husband disappeared at the end of September - since then, he went on a business trip to China.

French police are investigating what is officially termed in France a "worrying disappearance".

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Interpol said it was aware of reports in connection with Meng's "alleged disappearance".

The statement noted that Interpol's Secretary General, and not its President, is responsible for the global police agency's operations.

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

FILE - In this July 4, 2017 file photo, Interpol President, Meng Hongwei, delivers his opening address at the Interpol World congress in Singapore.

After a 40-year policing and criminal justice career, Meng is now China's deputy minister of public security.

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A vice minister of public security in China, he previously served as vice chairman of the national narcotics control commission and director of the National Counter-Terrorism Office for China.

Interpol staff can carry special passports to help speed deployment in emergency situations but that would not have given Meng any specific rights or immunity in his home country.

Meng was appointed the head of Interpol in 2016.

In a statement, Interpol said the whereabouts of its president is "a matter for the relevant authorities in both France and China".

The 64-year-old Meng Hongwei was elected president of Interpol in November 2016.

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