French police launch investigation into missing Interpol chief

French police launch investigation into missing Interpol chief
The head of Interpol went missing last month, after leaving France for China.
1 min read
05 October, 2018
Meng went missing in France last month [Getty]

French police have launched an investigation into the disappearance of Meng Hongwei, the Chinese head of the international police organisation Interpol, last month, AFP reported Friday.

Meng was last seen leaving Interpol's headquarters in Lyon in France, late September, the source said, and planned to visit China.

His wife reported him missing after he was never seen again, and Europe reported that he left the country on 29 September.

Meng was vice minister of public security in China - which critics say gave him control over the secret police - before being elected head of Interpol in November 2016.
He was the first Chinese leader of Interpol, although the agency does not have agents of its own with powers of arrest.

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

Operation Fox Hunt, as it is known, has led to claims in some countries that Chinese law enforcement agents have been working undercover in foreign countries.

Since the anti-corruption drive began several top officials have been detained and charged with crimes including "severe disciplinary violations", a phrase which usually refers to corruption or graft.

Meng's term is scheduled to run until 2020.