Interpol quizzes China after president vanishes during trip home

Interpol President Meng Hongwei walks toward the stage to deliver his opening address at the Interpol World congress. — AP

News of his absence was swiftly followed by speculation that Meng - who is also Chinese deputy minister of public security - had been swept up in Beijing's secretive anti-corruption campaign.

Meng's appointment as president in 2016 - amid Chinese leader Xi Jinping's sweeping anti-corruption drive - alarmed some human rights organizations, fearful it would embolden China to strike out at dissidents and refugees overseas.

Interpol added that the secretary general - not the president - was in charge of the day-to-day running of the 192-member organisation.

On Friday Mr Hongwei's wife reported him missing to French authorities.

"Interpol is aware of media reports in connection with the alleged disappearance of Interpol President Meng Hongwei".

Interpol said it used law-enforcement channels to submit its request for information about Meng's status.

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.

The South China Morning Post quotes a source as saying Mr Meng, 64, was "taken away" for questioning in China.

France launched its own investigation on Friday morning, according to the judicial official, who wasn't authorized to speak publicly and asked for anonymity. The paper, which based its reporting on an unnamed source, said the reason for Meng's questioning was unknown.

China's Ministry of Public Security did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.

In a statement, it said: 'This is a matter for the relevant authorities in both France and China'.

It is the latest high-profile disappearance in China, where a number of top government officials, billionaire business magnates and even an A-list celebrity have vanished for weeks or months at a time.

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.

"It is freaky", Broadhurst said Saturday, noting China most likely would "brush off" any political damage to Beijing's involvement in global bodies.

The president of the world's worldwide police organization, better known as Interpol, is missing.

By 2004, he was a vice minister of public security and that same year became head of Interpol's China branch.

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.

Xi has been seeking the return of officials and businesspeople accused of fraud and corruption from overseas, sometimes with the help of Interpol in an arrangement human rights advocates say is prone to abuse.

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

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Predicted 4-3-3 Liverpool Lineup vs Manchester City: Salah Starts
Oct 07, 2018 - 12:57
Klopp is likely to keep faith in the front three of Salah, Mane & Firmino as he looks to press Manchester City high up the pitch. That's why I kill myself for him every game, because I want to give back everything he teaches us on a daily basis.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Breast cancer ‘most widely spread’ type of cancer in Palestine
Oct 05, 2018 - 17:35
It's a good idea to talk with your doctor about your risks and the most appropriate time for you to get started with mammograms. Bush said football coaches and players, cheer and pom will all sport pink to call attention to the threat of breast cancer .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Amid trade spat, US-China military tensions soar
Oct 05, 2018 - 16:12
The US takes no official position on the competing claims by countries for territories located in the South China Sea. Mattis characterized China's militarization in the South China Sea as being for "intimidation and coercion".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Records tumble as Prithvi Shaw scores hundred on Test debut in Rajkot
Oct 05, 2018 - 15:27
With the achievement, Shaw became the fourth youngest player to score a hundred on debut and the youngest ever Indian. Indian bowlers came out and ran through West Indies' top order with Mohammed Shami removing the openers cheaply.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Melania Trump feeds baby elephants in Kenya to highlight conservation efforts
Oct 05, 2018 - 14:42
Spokesperson for the protestors, Rachael Pope, said the Americans living in Malawi had a "take-home" message for US First Lady. Her visit to Africa comes months after President Trump became under fire for calling African countries "Shithole".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top US, Canada NAFTA trade deal: Trump said Chrystia Freeland hates America
Oct 04, 2018 - 19:28
Dairy Farmers objected to this, too, but the once-obscure dairy classification had become a lightning rod of discontent for Trump. Instead, he said, Canada can only brag about what it didn't have to concede. "This is a better deal for autoworkers", Treat said.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Government Announces Relief On Fuel Prices By Reducing Excise Duty
Oct 04, 2018 - 19:12
Of the Rs 2.5 cut, the Centre will bear Rs 1.5 of the burden and oil marketing companies will take a hit of Re 1 per litre. We welcome this decision and thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi on behalf of the people and BJP workers.

United Kingdom says Russian Federation was behind 4 major cyber-attacks on Western democracies
Oct 04, 2018 - 19:09
Four of those charged belong to GRU Unit 26165, which was the other team implicated in the July indictment. At the time, the OPCW was working to verify the identity of the substance used in the Salisbury attack.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Turkey's Erdogan refuses to release American pastor
Oct 04, 2018 - 17:09
In Cologne , as in other German cities, were the manifestations of the opponents of the policy of Erdogan, mainly Kurds. Both Cologne mayor Henriette Reker and the state's premier Armin Laschet declined to attend the mosque opening ceremony.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top UK's Boris Johnson says: Chuck PM May's Brexit plan
Oct 04, 2018 - 15:02
On Tuesday, he went so far as to outline his vision on housing, reducing crime and cutting taxes, taking jabs at some of Ms. Johnson got a rapturous reception on Tuesday when he unloaded on Ms. "This is not pragmatic, that is not a compromise".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Cristiano Ronaldo again denies rape allegations calls it an 'abominable crime'
Oct 03, 2018 - 19:42
Her lawsuit - received by the courts on Friday - seeks to make the alleged non-disclosure agreement void. Mayorga's lawsuit claims that she obtained them and handed them over to Las Vegas police in August.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Fan Bingbing: missing Chinese actress emerges with £100m tax bill
Oct 03, 2018 - 19:10
Radar readers know the X-Men: Days of Future Past star has not been spotted since June, when her tax scandal was exposed. Her vanishing act sparked wild speculation in China about her fate, including reports that she had been detained.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Oil prices reach four-year high ahead of USA sanctions on Iran
Oct 03, 2018 - 18:09
In May, Iran sold 2.71 million bpd overseas , almost three percent of daily global oil consumption. Brent sweet crude oil futures rose to as much as 83.27 dollars a barrel.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Most US cell phones to receive 'Presidential Alert' text on Wednesday
Oct 03, 2018 - 17:29
This test was originally scheduled for mid-September, but was postponed because FEMA was also responding to Hurricane Florence . Cellphone users can expect their phone to get the alert, along with "a loud tone and vibration" at 2:18 p.m .

'I don't remember': Trump mocks Christine Blasey Ford's testimony
Oct 03, 2018 - 17:27
Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska were instrumental last week in holding up Kavanaugh's confirmation vote. The FBI investigation was launched at the urging of Republican Senators Jeff Flake , Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.