LYON – France has opened an investigation into the disappearance of Meng Hongwei, the Chinese head of the international police agency Interpol, French police said on Friday.
Meng, a Chinese national who served a lengthy term as the vice minister for public security, went missing during a visit to China a week ago.
The probe was launched after Meng’s wife reported his disappearance to police in Lyon, where the international agency is headquartered. She said she has not heard from him since his departure on 29 September.
Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, citing an unnamed source, said the 64-year-old Communist Party official was under investigation in China and had been taken away for questioning as soon as he landed there.
The Hong Kong-based newspaper added that it was not clear why he was being investigated by “discipline authorities” or where he was being held.
Chinese officials have so far made no public comments on the issue.
In a statement, the organization said it was aware of reports of the “alleged disappearance” of Meng.
— INTERPOL (@INTERPOL_HQ) October 5, 2018
“This is a matter for the relevant authorities in both France and China,” it added.
Interpol added that the secretary general – not the president – was in charge of the day-to-day running of the 192-member organization.
As president since 2016, Meng leads the Executive Committee, which provides the overall guidance and direction to Interpol. His term is scheduled to run until 2020.