Interpol asks China for information on its missing president

Posted October 07, 2018

The France-based global police body said it was looking forward to an official response from authorities regarding Meng Hongwei, 64.

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

An unnamed French judicial official was quoted saying in the report that Meng did arrive in China at the last of September but there had been no news of him since then. China has made no official comment.

It is not clear why he was being investigated by "discipline authorities" or where he was being held, the Hong Kong-based newspaper adds.

What is the full Interpol statement?

Interpol president Meng Hongwei has been detained in China for questioning as part of an investigation against him, a media report said Saturday, a day after he was reported missing in his native country.

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But Interpol walks a fine line between its noble mission - facilitating global police cooperation - and the politics and policies of some of its member countries.

Interpol co-ordinates searches among its members, issuing yellow notices for missing persons and a red notice - an worldwide alert - for a wanted person.

But it does not have the power to send officers into countries to arrest individuals or issue arrest warrants. French police have told Reuters that there is an investigation going in France about his disappearance, what has been termed as a "worrying disappearance".

Who is Meng Hongwei?

Meng was appointed as the chief of Interpol in 2016 which also sparked controversy as it was alleged that China is extending its crackdown on people overseas.

He heads the organisation's Executive Committee, which provides overall guidance and direction. He earlier served as the vice-minister of public security in China as well as the vice-chairman of the National Narcotics Control Commission and director of the National Counter-Terrorism Office for China, according to the Interpol website.

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After his election human rights groups expressed concern that the move could help China pursue political dissidents who have fled the country.

He added that China was likely to "brush off" any political damage that it would cause to Beijing's involvement in worldwide bodies.

Officials in China have so far made no public comments on Mr Meng, a senior Communist Party official there.

In 2014, China worked through Interpol to issue notices for 100 Chinese corruption suspects who fled overseas.

The Chinese effort to track down corrupt officials overseas, known as Operation Fox Hunt, has led to claims in some countries that Chinese law-enforcement agents have been operating covertly on their soil without the approval or consent of local authorities.

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.

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