Published: Sat, October 06, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

France opens probe into missing Chinese head of Interpol

France opens probe into missing Chinese head of Interpol

Meng Hongwei's wife reported him missing on Friday, the official said.

According to the BBC, after two days of not hearing from her husband, Meng's wife notified police in Lyon, where the couple live with their children.

Meng Hongwei, 64, left Interpol's headquarters in Lyon, arriving in China last week. He is a veteran of China's police and security systems, serving as the country's vice minister of public security and the head of the country's Interpol bureau.

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When Meng was named Interpol's president in November 2016, human rights groups expressed concern that Beijing might try to leverage his position to pursue dissidents overseas.

Rights groups previously said that Beijing could use Meng's position to arrest and deport its critics overseas.

Meng Hongwei, the director of Interpol, is reportedly missing. France, China and Interpol officials are yet to comment on the reports.

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The Chinese Government has tried for many years to enlist the help of foreign countries to arrest and deport back to China citizens it accuses of crimes, including corruption and terrorism.

Meng's official biography says he was born in 1953 in the northeastern city of Harbin and graduated with a degree in law from prestigious Peking University.

The president of Interpol heads its executive committee.

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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". It also pointed out that the day-to-day running of the 192-member global organisation for police co-operation was handled by its secretary general, not the president.

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