French police have opened an investigation into the whereabouts of the president of international police cooperation agency Interpol, after his wife reported he had gone missing after travelling home to his native China last week.
Meng Hongwei’s wife contacted police in Lyon, the French city where the agency has its headquarters, after not hearing from her husband since he travelled to China on September 29, police sources said.
Interpol’s main function is to provide a mechanism for police forces in different countries to notify each other of wanted suspects.
Mr Meng has held several senior positions in China including vice minister of public security, vice chairman of the national narcotics control commission and the director of the National Counter-Terrorism Office for China.
He was named president of Interpol in 2016 and his term is due to run until 2020.
Rights groups have previously expressed concern Beijing might try to use Mr Meng’s position at the body to go after dissidents abroad.
The Chinese Government has tried for many years to enlist the help of foreign countries to arrest and deport back to China citizens it accuses of crimes, including corruption and terrorism.
Calls to an Interpol spokeswoman went unanswered.