Interpol chief Meng Hongwei is missing for one week after he left for China from France. According to reports, he has become untraceable since he departed on September 29. Mr Meng is a Chinese citizen, and he with his family lives in French city of Lyon, where Interpol headquarters are located.
His wife has filed a complaint with French police, saying she has not heard from him since his departure to China. French police have launched an investigation into the matter. They have confirmed that Mr Meng has not disappeared from France, but he has gone missing in China. It has not been revealed whether he was on official visit or personal visit.
The International Criminal Police Organization, commonly known as Interpol, is an international organisation that facilitates international police cooperation. The organisation functions as an administrative liaison among the law enforcement agencies of the member countries, providing communications and database assistance.
Mr Meng, who is also China’s deputy minister of public security, was elected as Interpol president in November 2016. His term is due to end in 2020.
In a statement, Interpol said it was aware of reports of the “alleged disappearance”, adding that “this is a matter for the relevant authorities in both France and China”. They have also informed that Secretary-General is in charge of the day-to-day operations of Interpol, not the President.
— INTERPOL (@INTERPOL_HQ) October 5, 2018
Chinese media has a different version of the incident. South China Morning Post reports that Meng Hongwei was “taken away” for questioning by discipline authorities “as soon as he landed in China” last week. The report states that it is not yet clear why Meng is being investigated by Chinese authorities or exactly where he is being held.
Although Meng is still listed as a vice-minister in Public Security ministry, he has lost his seat on the Communist Party Committee, which is the real decision-making body.
Rumours have already started about the possible reason for the disappearance. According to some speculations, the Chinese government took him way because he was getting too close with agencies of other countries.
Anyone got any clue on this one? Pure guess; the anti-foreign-contact paranoia has reached a point that he was open to accusations of getting too close to other countries’ agencies or officials. https://t.co/q560b0Po7W
— James Palmer (@BeijingPalmer) October 5, 2018
Meng Hongwei is the first Chinese official to become Interpol president. His appointment had caused concern among human rights activists, who feared that he would abuse Interpol’s power to forcibly repatriate Chinese dissidents and fugitives.