Interpol chief Meng Hongwei vanishes on trip to China

MOSCOW RUSSIA ? JULY 6 2018 Interpol President Meng Hongwei at an International Cybersecurity Congress at Moscow's World Trade Centre. Mikhail Metzel  TASS

Meng's wife contacted police in Lyon - where the couple lives and where Interpol is based - after not hearing from her husband since he travelled to the country, Reuters said.

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

"He did not disappear in France", the source told AFP.

Meng was elected in November 2016 as the head of Interpol, succeeding the French Mireille Ballestrazzi.

Mr Meng has served in China as a vice minister for public security, an anti-narcotics official and a director of the National Counter-Terrorism Office.

According to Interpol's website, in May he delivered a speech in Ireland in which he discussed the changing face of global crime and the need for Interpol to remain above political considerations.

"This is a matter for the relevant authorities in both France and China", it said on Twitter.

The president of Interpol has vanished on a trip home to China.




Interpol acknowledged via Twitter, "We are aware of media reports in connection with the alleged disappearance of INTERPOL President Meng Hongwei".

There was no further word on Meng's schedule in China or what prompted his wife to wait until now to report his absence.

Calls to an Interpol spokeswoman went unanswered.

That would be a stunning reversal for Meng, who was elected to head Interpol two years ago precisely at a moment when China was seeking worldwide help to arrest corrupt officials.

Before taking over at Interpol, Meng Hongwei was deputy minister in charge of public security in China.

Interpol is the world's largest agency facilitating police cooperation with 192 member countries.

While Meng is head of the executive committee that oversees Interpol, the agency is run by Secretary General Juergen Stock.

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