Interpol asks China about missing chief

Interpol asks China about missing chief

Interpol asks China about missing chief

Interpol demanded an official "clarification" from China on the whereabouts of its missing police chief on Saturday (Oct 6), after reports said he was detained for questioning on arrival in his homeland.

"Interpol's General Secretariat looks forward to an official response from China's authorities to address concerns over the president's well-being".

Meng was the first Chinese official to take the post of the Interpol agency, which facilitates cooperation between 192 law enforcement agencies worldwide, China's state news agency, Xinhua reported. She said family members of missing party officials rarely, if ever, reached out to foreign authorities, in fear their relatives would face ever greater punishment.

Though few details have emerged, the mysterious circumstances of Meng's disappearance have already prompted criticisms of Chinese authorities' lack of transparency.

It is not clear why he was being investigated by "discipline authorities" or where he was being held, the Hong Kong-based newspaper adds.

China has so far remained tight-lipped on the incident.

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.

Before taking over as Interpol's chief in 2016, Meng served as vice minister of public security in China, among other positions within China's security establishment.

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French authorities, which are conducting their own investigation, said Mr Meng, a vice minister for public security in China, definitely boarded a plane and arrived in the country.

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.

His appointment as Interpol president in 2016 alarmed some human rights organisations, fearful it would embolden China to strike out at dissidents and refugees overseas. Last April, Interpol issued a red notice for Chinese fugitive tycoon Guo Wengui at Beijing's request.

He added that China was likely to "brush off" any political damage that it would cause to Beijing's involvement in global bodies.

He heads the organisation's Executive Committee, which provides overall guidance and direction.

"Ironically, Meng's disappearance can be a wake-up call, making it more hard for the PRC [China] to claim leadership positions in worldwide organisations", she said. "Yellow notices" are issued for missing persons. Since then, there has been no update on him.

A source told the South China Morning Post that Meng was under investigation in China and was "taken away" for questioning by discipline authorities "as soon as he landed in China" last week.

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