Interpol Seeks Information From China Regarding Missing Organization President

One of China's best-known actresses Fan Bingbing is missing

One of China's best-known actresses Fan Bingbing is missing

The agency "looks forward to an official response from China's authorities to address concerns over the president's well-being", the statement said.

Worldwide police agency Interpol has urged China to clarify the status of its president, Meng Hongwei, who has gone missing on a visit to the country.

Meng Hongwei had not been heard since traveling to China at the end of September. France has launched its own investigation.

Meng Hongwei, Interpol's president, boarded a plane and arrived in China, according to a French judicial official.

While Meng is listed on the website of China's Ministry of Public Security as a vice-minister, he lost his seat on its Communist Party Committee - its real decision-making body - in April, the Post reported.

Neither China's public security ministry nor its foreign ministry have replied to queries about the president.

There have been several cases in recent years of senior Chinese officials vanishing without explanation, only for the government to announce weeks or even months later that they have been put under investigation, often for suspected corruption.

According to the South China Morning Post, the Interpol chief may have been a target of a campaign against corruption in the country.

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Interpol has downplayed the concerns, saying the president has little influence over the organization's day-to-day operations, which are handled by secretary-general Juergen Stock, a German. "Exchanges with Chinese authorities continue", the ministry added.

Sources told the newspaper he was being questioned.

The Hong Kong newspaper said Mr Meng was "taken away" for questioning upon landing in China last week by what it said were "discipline authorities".

According to Meng's bio on Interpol's website, he has nearly 40 years of experience in criminal justice and policing, during which he's dealt with issues related to legal institutions, narcotics control, counterterrorism, border control, immigration and global cooperation.

Meng was the first Chinese official to take the post of the Interpol agency, which facilitates cooperation between 192 law enforcement agencies worldwide, China's state news agency, Xinhua reported.

It was not clear why Meng, 64, who has been Interpol's president for two years, had travelled to China. "That is ironic, because Meng Hongwei seems to be a victim of their disciplinary procedures", she said. "It is quite possible that Meng found himself on the wrong side of the political divide in China, at a time when President Xi Jinping is intensifying his crackdown on corruption".

But it does not have the power to send officers into countries to arrest individuals or issue arrest warrants.

"As a matter of fact, Interpol cannot by itself investigate the whereabouts of its missing president, but it can, and in fact should, issue a yellow notice", she said.

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