Interpol President Meng Hongwei Reported Missing After Travelling To China

Meng Hongwei president of Interpol gives an addresses at the opening of the Interpol World Congress in Singapore

French authorities launched an investigation into the disappearance of Interpol president Meng Hongwei, whose wife reported to French police that he went missing after returning to his native China last week, reported local media Friday.

His family say they have not heard from him since he left Interpol HQ in the French city of Lyon for a trip back to China on September 29, police sources say.

He is a senior Communist Party official in China and has formerly served as the deputy head of public security. His wife last had contact with him before he went to China about a week ago.

It was initially unclear where Meng had gone missing, but a source in the European country said: "He did not disappear in France". His term is due to run until 2020.

Interpol said on Friday it was aware of reports of the "alleged disappearance" of its president Meng Hongwei and said the issue was a matter for the relevant authorities in France and China.

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Interpol couldn't be reached for comment.

He has held a variety of positions within China's security establishment, including as a vice minister of public security - the national police force - since 2004.

An image from Interpol showing Meng Hongwei, Chinese President of Interpol, speaking in Bali, Nov. 10, 2016.

Beijing saw Meng's election as a chance to enlist more global help in tracking down alleged economic criminals, including corrupt officials, targeted by President Xi Jinping's anti-graft campaign. Amnesty International said Meng's rise to the international office was "alarming given China's long-standing practice of trying to use Interpol to arrest dissidents and refugees overseas".

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