Interpol president reported missing during trip to China - Ireland

A French judicial official says the president of Interpol has been reported missing after travelling to China

A French judicial official says the president of Interpol has been reported missing after travelling to China

Until the election in November 2016, President of Interpol, Meng Hongwei, he was Deputy Minister of public security of China.

Previously, Interpol had said that reports about Meng's disappearance were "a matter for the relevant authorities in both France and China".

Meng's wife says she hasn't heard from him since he left Lyon at the end of September.

As president, he chairs Interpol's executive committee, elected by member states, and is in charge of ensuring that the organization complies with decisions of the committee and its annual general assembly.

He was the first Chinese leader of Interpol, which connects the law enforcement agencies of its 192 member countries.

Speculation has mounted that Meng, who also serves as a vice minister of China's public security ministry, may have been swept up in a broad anti-corruption campaign led by President Xi Jinping.

Meng's family have not heard from him since September 25, the ministry added, earlier than the September 29 date police sources had previously reported.

Earlier, reports in Chinese media suggested that Interpol chief was held by the Chinese authorities. But because Interpol's secretary general is responsible for the day-to-day running of the police agency's operations, Meng's absence may have little operational effect. His term as Interpol president runs until 2020.

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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.

Far from being a Hollywood-style agency with agents toting weapons across the globe, Interpol is low-profile and discrete about its cases, unless it wants to talk.

It is the latest high-profile disappearance in China, where a number of top government officials, billionaire business magnates and even an A-list celebrity have vanished for weeks or months at a time.

French police had opened an investigation into Meng's disappearance last week, according to a source close to the inquiry.

He was "taken away" for questioning by the authorities "as soon as he landed in China" last week, the newspaper said, quoting an unidentified source.

Interpol co-ordinates searches among its members, issuing yellow notices for missing persons and a red notice - an global alert - for a wanted person.

China, in the midst of a weeklong holiday, offered no comment on the disappearance of Meng.

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