French police have opened an investigation into the whereabouts of the president of worldwide 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 reported Friday that she had not heard from her 64-year-old husband since the end of September, when he left Lyon, France, where Interpol is based, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details of an ongoing investigation.
He used to be Vice Minister of Public Security in China, according to Interpol's website. His wife last had contact with him before he went to China about a week ago.
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"An investigation has been opened by French police about the disappearance of the Chinese president of Interpol", a French official told ABC News. In Beijing, the foreign and public security ministries did not immediately respond to calls and faxed requests for comment Friday. "This is a matter for the relevant authorities in both France and China", Interpol said in a statement.
Interpol released a statement saying only that it was "aware of media reports in connection with the alleged disappearance" of Meng.
The president of worldwide police group, Interpol, has allegedly gone missing after he went to China.
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When he was elected, Meng was the first Chinese official to take the post, and it triggered a range of responses. His term runs until 2020.
Rights groups have previously expressed concern Beijing might try to use Mr Meng's position at the body to go after dissidents overseas.
The Interpol chief left France, where the global police organisation is based, and arrived in China at the end of September, the official added.
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Diplomats say the role of Interpol president is largely ceremonial, with day-to-day work carried out by its secretary general Juergen Stock and his staff.