Did China detain missing Interpol president?

Meng Hongwei head of Interpol declared missing

Meng Hongwei head of Interpol declared missing

His disappearance was made public on Friday, when French authorities said they were opening an investigation to find out what happened to Meng, a Chinese national who served a lengthy term as the vice minister for public security.

Police in Lyon, the French city in which Interpol is based, had earlier launched their own investigation into Meng's disappearance after his wife reported him missing.

Sources told the newspaper he was being questioned.

France is investigating the disappearance of Meng, who is also a senior Chinese security official, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.

He added that China was likely to "brush off" any political damage that it would cause to Beijing's involvement in global bodies.

The organization links up police officials of its 192 member states, who can use Interpol to disseminate their search for a fugitive, or a missing person. The paper reported that after landing, Meng was "taken away" for questioning by what it said were "discipline authorities".

Meng's appointment as president in 2016 - amid Chinese leader Xi Jinping's sweeping anti-corruption drive - alarmed some human rights organizations, fearful it would embolden China to strike out at dissidents and refugees overseas.

Meng Hongwei was a Vice Miniter of public security in China. Meng has held various positions within China's security establishment, including as a vice minister of public security since 2004.

"France is puzzled about the situation of Interpol's president and concerned about the threats made to his wife", the ministry said.

The whereabouts of the businessman have been unknown since he left Interpol HQ in Lyon to travel to China on September 25.

Katrin Kinzelbach, associate director of the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin, said Meng had been under close observation since joining Interpol as his appointment had caused concern among academics and human rights advocates.

Meng has nearly 40 years' experience in criminal justice and policing, and has overseen matters related to legal institutions, narcotics control and counter-terrorism, according to Interpol's website.

News of Meng's apparent disappearance comes after Chinese officials announced that Hollywood star Fan Bingbing, who also vanished without a trace several months ago, has been ordered to pay millions of dollars in alleged back taxes and penalties. Beijing has in the past pressed countries to arrest and deport to China citizens it accuses of crimes, from corruption to terrorism.

Diplomats say the role of Interpol president is largely ceremonial, with day-to-day work carried out by its secretary general, Juergen Stock, and his staff.

Such actions would be contrary to Interpol's mission statement: "Action is taken within the limits of existing laws in different countries and in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights".

Bombshell report claims Mourinho to be sacked tomorrow
Manchester United vs. Newcastle United - Football Match Report