Published: Mon, October 08, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Missing Interpol chief detained in China for questioning

Missing Interpol chief detained in China for questioning

Interpol is based in the French city of Lyon. Meng's family hasn't received any news from him since his September 29 departure for China, according to Europe 1.

"Interpol is aware of media reports in connection with the alleged disappearance of Interpol President Meng Hongwei". His term is expected to run until 2020, according to Interpol's website.

Meng was formerly China's deputy minister of public security, a position which critics said gave him control over the country's secret police.

The statement noted that Interpol's Secretary General, and not its President, is responsible for the worldwide police agency's operations. President of Interpol, Meng Hongwei was two years ago, prior to that, he was chief of the Central office structure in China.

After being elected as the head of the global policing agency in November 2016, Meng took a particular interest in cyber-crime.

"Exchanges with Chinese authorities continue", the ministry added.

It was opened after Meng's wife went to police to report her husband missing.

The organization links up police officials from its 192 member states, who can use Interpol to disseminate their search for a fugitive, or a missing person.

But Interpol walks a fine line between its noble mission - facilitating worldwide police cooperation - and the politics and policies of some of its member countries. Rights groups expressed concern at the time that Beijing might try to use Meng's position at the body to go after dissidents overseas.

Mr Meng's duties in China would have put him in close proximity to former leaders, some of whom had fallen foul of President Xi Jinping's sweeping crackdown on corruption.

China, in the midst of a weeklong holiday, offered no comment on the disappearance of Meng.

Meng's wife, who has remained in Lyon with their children according to police sources, was receiving protection, it said.

Critics suggested that Meng's election gave Beijing 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.

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