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Did China detain missing Interpol president?

Did China detain missing Interpol president?

Previously, Interpol had said that reports about Mr Meng's disappearance were "a matter for the relevant authorities in both France and China".

French police have opened an investigation into the reported disappearance last week of Meng Hongwei, the Chinese head of the worldwide police organisation Interpol, a source close to the inquiry said.

Interpol has asked Beijing to clarify the situation of Interpol president Meng Hongwei, who has been reported missing, the worldwide police organization's secretary-general Juergen Stock said on Saturday.

"Interpol's General Secretariat looks forward to an official response from China's authorities to address concerns over the President's well-being", Stock added in the statement.

Meng's wife says she hasn't heard from him since he left the French city of Lyon at the end of September to go to China.

While Interpol is still waiting for an official response from China, an official investigation has been launched in France.

Before taking over at Interpol, Mr Meng was deputy minister in charge of public security in China and is still a senior Communist Party official.

Eventually, the party issues a terse statement that the official is "under investigation", the official is then booted from the party for "disciplinary infractions" and - eventually - a prison sentence is announced. It appears Meng's wife was not informed.

Meng was taken into custody immediately upon his arrival in China last week for questioning by authorities, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a source it didn't identify.

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"It is freakish", 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.

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. Meng is the first Chinese official to head Interpol.

Following the appointment, critics suggested that Meng's appointment gave Beijing a chance to enlist more worldwide help in tracking down alleged economic criminals, including corrupt officials, targeted by President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign. Also, at one time, China prized Mr Meng's lofty position at Interpol.

Diplomats say the role of Interpol president is largely ceremonial, with day-to-day work carried out by its secretary general, Juergen Stock, and his staff.

People are arrested during a temporary stay in China, are also deprived of their freedom and are often interrogated for a perennial period, Le Monde report said.

Katrin Kinzelbach, associate director of the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin, said Meng had been under close observation since joining Interpol as his appointment had caused concern among academics and human rights advocates. Meng's term is due to run until 2020.

According to Interpol's website, Meng has almost 40 years of experience in criminal justice and policing, and has overseen matters related to legal institutions, narcotics control and counterterrorism.

Interpol can issue a red notice - an worldwide alert - for a wanted person.


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