Interpol demands China 'clarification' on missing police chief

Interpol demands China 'clarification' on missing police chief

Interpol demands China 'clarification' on missing police chief

Meng has been missing since he travelled to China at the end of September, his wife said.

China has not yet commented and is in the midst of a weeklong holiday.

Critics of Meng's 2016 election to Interpol's presidency said he would use the position to help China target dissidents overseas under the guise of pursuing corrupt officials.

So far, Chinese authorities have not made an official statement in this regard. Interpol's secretary-general is responsible for the day-to-day running of the organization.

But news of his absence was swiftly followed by speculation that Meng - who also serves as a vice minister of China's Ministry of Public Security - had been swept up in Beijing's secretive anti-corruption campaign.

The worldwide Criminal Political Investigation (Interpol) chief Meng Hongwei allegedly went missing on Friday, October 5, after he went to China.

The South China Morning Post reports Chinese authorities took him away soon after he arrived there, and is under investigation for unspecified reasons, according to an anonymous source. Officials under suspicion often disappear into the party's investigatory body, which can hold them for months without releasing information or providing them with legal counsel.

So far neither the public security ministry nor the foreign ministry in China has commented.

Interpol has asked Beijing to clarify the situation of Interpol president Meng Hongwei, who has been reported missing, the worldwide police organization's secretary-general Juergen Stock said on Saturday.

Meng is also a vice minister for public security in China.

Though few details have emerged, the mysterious circumstances of Meng's disappearance have already prompted criticisms of Chinese authorities' lack of transparency.

"It is freaky", Broadhurst said on Saturday, adding that China was likely to "brush off" any political damage that it would cause to Beijing's involvement in global bodies.

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

His term is expected to run until 2020, according to the company's website. However, it does not have the power to send officers into countries to arrest individuals or issue arrest warrants.

His appointment also sparked concern about China extending its crackdown on dissidents overseas.

His duties in China would have put him in close proximity to former leaders, some who fell afoul of President Xi Jinping's sweeping anti-corruption campaign.

If he has really gone missing within the Chinese state apparatus, whom did he anger, or what could he have done for Beijing to willingly, and publicly, forfeit the top job at Interpol? "Yellow notices" are issued for missing persons.

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