PARIS — Interpol has demanded an official ‘clarification’ from China on the whereabouts of its missing president on Saturday, after reports said he was detained for questioning on arrival in his homeland.
Meng Hongwei, 64, who also serves as a vice minister of public security in China, was elected president of Interpol in 2016 to serve until 2020.
He lives in Lyon, France, where Interpol is based, with his wife and children. His family members last heard from him before he left for China on Sept 29.
“Interpol has requested through official law enforcement channels clarification from China’s authorities on the status of Interpol President Meng Hongwei,” Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock said in a statement posted to Twitter.
“Interpol’s General Secretariat looks forward to an official response from China’s authorities to address concerns over the President’s well-being.”
However, Beijing has remained silent over the mysterious disappearance of Hongwei, according to AFP.
Meng’s wife reported him missing to police in Lyon Thursday after she said she hadn’t heard from in in 10 days and had recently received threats, a French Interior Ministry statement said.
“France is looking into the situation of the President of Interpol and is concerned about the threats his wife has received,” the statement said, adding that a “suitable police mechanism” was put in place to guarantee her safety.
A source told the South China Morning Post that Meng was under investigation in China and was ‘taken away’ for questioning by discipline authorities ‘as soon as he landed in China’ last week. However, the reason for an investigation of him remains unclear.