Beijing hints at fate of Interpol chief who was spirited away

08 October, 2018, 13:58 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Meng Hongwei was reported missing after traveling to China

An unnamed French judicial official was quoted saying in the report that Meng did arrive in China at the last of September but there had been no news of him since then.

Interpol has formally requested information about its missing leader from China, where the Chinese national, Meng Hongwei, seemingly disappeared on a trip home.

He also serves as a vice minister of public security in China, but he lives in Lyon, France, where Interpol is based, with his wife and children.

Effective July 2018, access to full reports will only be available with a subscription. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the party's secretive internal investigation agency, had no announcements on its website about Meng and couldn't be reached for comment.

Roderic Broadhurst, a professor of criminology at Australian National University, said Meng's disappearance would be "pretty disconcerting" for people in worldwide bodies that work with China, and could harm China's efforts to develop cooperative legal assistance measures with other countries.

Mr Meng's case is notable for a few reasons.

Meng's family has been placed under police protection following the "worrying disappearance", the ministry said.

During Meng's tenure, Interpol issued a red notice for fugitive Chinese billionaire real estate tycoon Guo Wengui, who threatened to reveal corruption at the country's highest levels.

The president at Interpol is an elected person for a term of four years who heads the executive committee and is responsible for the supervision of the execution of decisions made by general assembly of Interpol.

Meng has held various positions within China's security establishment, including as a vice minister of public security since 2004.

It's unclear if he was on official business in China.

The anti-corruption drive recently drew headlines after the disappearance three months ago of X-Men star Fan Bingbing, one of the country's best-known actresses.

The agency's secretary general Juergen Stock, who oversees day-to-day operations, said Saturday that it was seeking "clarification" on his whereabouts from Chinese authorities.

The National Supervisory Commission, which handles corruption cases involving public servants, broke the official silence early Monday, saying in a one-line statement that Meng "is now under investigation on suspicion of violating the law". Still out of the public eye, she issued a statement apologising for her actions.

The French are "obviously aware of the disappearance but know nothing more at this stage", said one diplomatic official, unauthorized to comment publicly on the matter and speaking only on condition of anonymity.



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