China tight-lipped on disappeared Interpol chief

07 October, 2018, 18:17 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Meng Hongwei head of Interpol declared missing

His disappearance was reported by his wife to the French police who said she didn't hear from her husband after he landed in China.

"France is puzzled about the situation of Interpol's president and concerned about the threats made to his wife", the French interior ministry was quoted by BBC as saying.

According to BBC Asia Editor Celia Hatton, Meng Hongwei's disappearance seems to fit in with a now familiar pattern among China's senior Communist Party officials.

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

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

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.

"Exchanges with Chinese authorities continue", the ministry said in a statement. Reports from April said Meng had been relieved of his position as a member of the party committee at the Ministry of Public Security, with no explanation given.

The only clue has come from the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, which has strong sources...

Interpol said Saturday that it has requested notification from China of the status of its missing president.

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Vice-Minister at China's Ministry of Public Security, Meng Hongwei is now under investigation in China, amidst the mystery surrounding his disappearance after his wife reported to the French police that he went missing.

"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 global bodies.

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

It does not have agents of its own with powers of arrest.

He was not on French soil when he was last seen, according a senior French law enforcement official, who declined to say whether he was in China. His term in Lyon runs until 2020.

Meanwhile, the rights groups have enunciated concern over his disappearance by claiming that Beijing might use his position at the body to go after dissidents overseas. 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.

At the time, Amnesty International called Meng's appointment "at odds with Interpol's mandate to work in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights".

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.

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