Probe opened in France after Interpol chief reported missing

Probe opened in France after Interpol chief reported missing

Probe opened in France after Interpol chief reported missing

In a statement, Interpol said it was aware of reports about Mr Meng's disappearance and added "this is a matter for the relevant authorities in both France and China".

Hatton explained that since Chinese President Xi Jinping took office in 2012, more than 1 million Communist officials have been disciplined by "going missing" while under investigation, typically resulting in being kicked out of the party and serving time in prison.

At the time, human rights organizations such as Amnesty International expressed concerns that Beijing could use Interpol to arrest dissidents and refugees overseas.

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

Interpol staff can carry special passports to help speed deployment in emergency situations but that would not have given Meng any specific rights or immunity in his home country.

Presidents of Interpol are seconded from their national administrations and remain in their home post while representing the worldwide policing body.

According to Reuters, Meng Hongwei's disappearance was reported by his wife, who lives in Leon, where the Interpol headquarters are located. Interpol and Chinese authorities have remained silent so far.

Meng's official biography says he was born in 1953 in the northeastern city of Harbin and graduated with a degree in law from prestigious Peking University.

A spokeswoman for Interpol refused to tell CNN if Mr Meng was on official business in China when he was last heard from.

The secretary-general of Interpol is responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation.

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