Interpol president Meng Hongwei vanishes on trip home to China

Meng Hongwei president of Interpol gives an addresses at the opening of the Interpol World Congress in Singapore

Meng Hongwei president of Interpol gives an addresses at the opening of the Interpol World Congress in Singapore

France has opened an investigation into the disappearance of Meng Hongwei, the Chinese head of the worldwide police agency Interpol. Interpol said: "This is a matter for the relevant authorities in both France and China".

French authorities have opened an investigation into the whereabouts of the head of Interpol, police sources told several news outlets on Friday.

He was previously the vice minister of public security in China.

"He left Lyon for China last week".

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

"He did not disappear in France", a source close to the inquiry said.

An unnamed French judicial official said Meng arrived in China at the end of September but added that there had been no news of him since.

Meng Hongwei, the director of Interpol, is reportedly missing.

Reuters was not immediately able to reach China's Ministry of Public Security for comment. His term runs until 2020.

According to Interpol's website, in May he delivered a speech in Ireland in which he discussed the changing face of global crime and the need for Interpol to remain above political considerations.

It was not clear why Meng, 64, who was named Interpol's president two years ago, had traveled to China.

China Daily emphasized the potential boost to China's recent clampdown on corruption, noting that China had increasingly worked with Interpol to pursue "China's 100 most-wanted fugitives suspected of corruption".

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.

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