News ID: 232306
Published: 0224 GMT October 05, 2018

France opens probe into missing Chinese head of Interpol

France opens probe into missing Chinese head of Interpol

French police have opened an investigation into the reported disappearance last week of Meng Hongwei, the Chinese head of the international police organization Interpol, a source close to the inquiry said.

Meng was last seen leaving for China from Interpol's headquarters in Lyon, southeast France, in late September, the source said. His wife reported him missing.

"He did not disappear in France," the source said.

Meng's wife contacted police in Lyon after not hearing from him since his departure on September 29, police sources said.

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post quoted an unnamed source as saying Meng, 64, was under investigation in China and had been taken away for questioning as soon as he landed there.

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

"This is a matter for the relevant authorities in both France and China," the agency said in a statement.

French police sources said their investigation was into what is termed in France a "worrying disappearance".

Police sources said Meng's wife and children remained in Lyon.

Before being elected head of Interpol in November 2016, Meng was vice minister of public security in China. He was the first Chinese leader of Interpol, which connects the law enforcement agencies of its 192 member countries.

It does not have agents of its own with powers of arrest.

Meng has almost 40 years’ experience in criminal justice and policing, and has overseen matters related to legal institutions, narcotics control and counter-terrorism, according to Interpol's website.

He was named president of Interpol in 2016 and his term is scheduled to run until 2020.

AFP and Reuters contributed to this story.  


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