Interpol quizzes China after president vanishes during trip home

Interpol quizzes China after president vanishes during trip home

The statement also added that the secretary general, and not the president, is responsible for the global police agency's daily operations.

Interpol president Meng Hongwei has been detained in China for questioning as part of an investigation against him, a media report said Saturday, a day after he was reported missing in his native country. French police have told Reuters that there is an investigation going in France about his disappearance, what has been termed as a "worrying disappearance".

After a 40-year policing and criminal justice career, Meng also is China's deputy minister of public security.

Meng is also a vice minister for public security in China.

Mr Meng is a Chinese national and former Communist Party official.

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. But because Interpol's secretary-general is responsible for the day-to-day running of the police agency's operations, Meng's absence may have little operational effect.

Though few details have emerged, the mysterious circumstances of Meng's disappearance have already prompted criticisms of Chinese authorities' lack of transparency. The paper, which based its reporting on an unnamed source, said the reason for Meng's questioning was unknown. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the party's secretive internal investigation agency, had no announcements on its website about Meng and could not be reached for comment.




Mr Meng is the first person from China to serve as Interpol's president, a post that is largely symbolic but powerful in status.

According to Meng's bio on Interpol's website, he has nearly 40 years of experience in criminal justice and policing, during which he's dealt with issues related to legal institutions, narcotics control, counterterrorism, border control, immigration and worldwide cooperation.

It is the latest high-profile disappearance in China, where a number of top government officials, billionaire business magnates and even celebrity Fan Bingbing (范冰冰) have vanished for weeks or months at a time.

Interpol has issued a statement demanding "clarification" from China after its chief went missing while visiting the country.

His duties in China would have put him in close proximity to former leaders, some who fell afoul of President Xi Jinping's sweeping anti-corruption campaign. Mr Meng's term is scheduled to run until 2020. The official in question suddenly drops out of the public eye and an alarm is raised that the person is "missing", usually by members of the public.

The 36-year-old took to China's Twitter-like Weibo to acknowledge her wrongs, beg for her supporters" forgiveness, and apologise to "society, the friends who care about me, the public and the national tax authorities'.

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