Interpol demands answers from China on missing president Meng Hongwei

Larry Hoffman
October 7, 2018

According to a French official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, claimed that Meng Hongwei's wife reported that he went missing on Friday.

Interpol has urged Chinese officials to release information on the whereabouts of Meng Hongwei, the president of the global police agency who went missing after leaving France for China on September 29.

The worldwide Criminal Political Investigation (Interpol) chief Meng Hongwei allegedly went missing on Friday, October 5, after he went to China.

The global police agency, based in France, said in a brief statement that "it looks forward to an official response from China's authorities to address concerns over the president's well-being". French prosecutors said Friday they had launched an investigation.

Meng, 64, the first Chinese head of the global law enforcement agency headquartered in France, was "taken away" for questioning by authorities "as soon as he landed in China" last week, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post quoted a source as saying.

So far, in Beijing, foreign and public security ministers have not reacted to Meng's disappearance, as reported by global news agency Reuters.

'I completely accept all the penalty decisions made according to law, after the investigation done by tax authorities.

The official did not specify the reason for why Meng, who was a vice-minister at China's Ministry of Public Security, was detained.

She was initially quoted by police sources as saying she had not heard from him since his departure on 29 September.

INTERPOL President Meng Hongwei poses during a visit to the headquarters of International Police Organisation in Lyon, France, May 8, 2018.

Far from being a Hollywood-style agency with agents toting weapons across the globe, Interpol is low-profile and discrete about its cases, unless it wants to talk.

Authorities in China and Hong Kong have accused Guo, who resides in the United States, of laundering billions of dollars among other crimes.

The French interior ministry said: "Exchanges with Chinese authorities continue".

When Meng was named Interpol's president in November 2016, human rights groups expressed concern that Beijing might try to leverage his position to pursue dissidents overseas. She said since Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, well over a million party officials have been disciplined in some way.

Interpol's defacto chief is its secretary general who is responsible for most of the operations.

Meng is head of the executive committee that oversees Interpol.

Meng is the first from his country to serve as Interpol's president, a post that is largely symbolic but powerful in status and not without political weight.

China now has 44 outstanding red notices, mostly related to murder, intentional injury and drug smuggling, according to Interpol's web site.

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