Interpol president reportedly missing in China; French police investigating

Meng Hongwei was reported missing by his wife

Meng Hongwei was reported missing by his wife

Interpol President Meng Hongwei has been reported missing after leaving France for a trip to his native China, triggering a police investigation and search for the official, who hasn't been seen since September 29.

Meng Hongwei was reported missing Friday by his wife, the Associated Press reports, citing an anonymous French judicial official.

His wife has not seen or heard from him since.

Details about the case are still emerging; as for where Meng is believed to have gone missing, a source tells Agence France-Presse, "He did not disappear in France".

The 64-year-old Meng Hongwei was elected president of Interpol in November 2016. China in recent years has submitted to Interpol extensive lists of repatriation targets and "red notices" - an worldwide alert for a wanted person - for what it says are corrupt fugitives.

That would be a stunning reversal for Meng, who was elected to head Interpol two years ago precisely at a moment when China was seeking worldwide help to arrest corrupt officials.

Nationwide Emergency Alert Test Set for Wednesday
The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) is created to warn Americans in the event of a national emergency. They're working to make sure the system can support delivery of messages in more languages in the future.

Interpol's website notes that Meng previously served as Vice Minister of Public Security in his native China.

Beijing saw Meng's election as a chance to enlist more worldwide help in tracking down alleged economic criminals, including corrupt officials, targeted by President Xi Jinping's anti-graft campaign.

Interpol's main function is to provide a mechanism for police forces in different countries to notify each other of wanted suspects.

Meng was appointed head of Interpol in 2016. Amnesty International said Meng's rise to the international office was "alarming given China's long-standing practice of trying to use Interpol to arrest dissidents and refugees overseas".

Interpol has not yet commented on the matter.

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