Police in France have begun an investigation into the Head of Interpol who has gone missing after travelling to China. Mr Meng Hongwei who became Head of Interpol in 2016 went missing in September. He has not been seen or heard from since his trip.
At 64, he has “been taken for questioning by the Chinese authorities” according to the South China Morning Post. It remains unknown as to why Mr Hongwei has been investigated and no further statements have been issued.
Before his appointed to Interpol, Mr Hongwei served as the Chinese Vice Minister of Public Security. He has also been the Director of the National Counter-Terrorism Office for China. According to Der Spiegel, Interpol, whose headquarters are based in Lyon, France, stated that it was, “aware of media reports in connection with the alleged disappearance of Interpol President,” but did not have any additional information. The day to day management of Interpol is now being organised by Jurgen Stock, the Secretary General of Interpol in the absence of Mr Hongwei.
The investigation is ongoing, what is known that he was arrested as soon as he landed in China. The extent to which the Chinese authorities are cooperating with the French investigation is unknown.
Prior to Mr Hongwei being appointed as Head of Interpol concerns were expressed by Amnesty International on how the Chinese might try to arrest dissidents and refugees using Interpol.