Interpol asks China for clarification on its missing chief

Charlene Craig
October 8, 2018

The agency said it was concerned about the well-being of its president.

His disappearance was reported by his wife to the French police who said she didn't hear from her husband after he landed in China. The reason for Meng being investigated and held is still unclear and no official confirmation has been made.

The South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper, has suggested that Meng may have been the latest target of an ongoing campaign against corruption in China.

The newspaper said last week that Meng had been "taken away" for questioning by what it said were "discipline authorities".

News of the investigation into Mr Meng's disappearance came during a week-long public holiday in China.

Such actions would be contrary to Interpol's mission statement: "Action is taken within the limits of existing laws in different countries and in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights". "Interpol's General Secretariat looks forward to an official response from China's authorities to address concerns over the President's well-being, Interpol Secretary General Stock added in the statement".

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"Yellow notices" are issued for missing persons.

It is reported that the Interpol asks China for clarification of the fate of its President. He also ran the Chinese Interpol office.

Who is Meng Hongwei?

He heads the organisation's Executive Committee, which provides overall guidance and direction.

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

He has nearly 40 years' experience in criminal justice and policing. His appointment also sparked concern about China extending its crackdown on dissidents overseas.

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Has Meng Hongwei angered China?

He was not on French soil when he was last seen, according a senior French law enforcement official, who declined to say whether he was in China. The official in question suddenly drops out of the public eye and an alarm is raised that the person is "missing", usually by members of the public. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the party's secretive internal investigation agency, had no announcements on its website about Meng and could not be reached for comment.

Chinese president Xi Jinping (習近平) has presided over an anti-graft drive since coming to power in 2012 that has punished more than 1 million officials.

"It is freaky", Broadhurst said on Saturday, adding that China was likely to "brush off" any political damage that it would cause to Beijing's involvement in worldwide bodies.

His wife apparently reported him missing after he travelled in late September.

And he was appointed president of Interpol in 2016.

If he has really gone missing within the Chinese state apparatus, whom did he anger, or what could he have done for Beijing to willingly, and publicly, forfeit the top job at Interpol?

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