Interpol President Meng Hongwei has gone missing during a visit to his native country China, leading to an investigation by the French police into his disappearance, the media reported.
Meng’s wife, who lives with him and their children in Lyon, southeast France, where the global organisation for police cooperation is based, reported him missing on Friday.
She said she last heard from him 10 days ago, a spokeswoman for Interpol told CNN. She refused to say if Meng was on official business in China when he was last heard.
Meng, 64, is a senior Communist Party official in China.
“Interpol is aware of media reports in connection with the alleged disappearance of Interpol President Meng Hongwei. This is a matter for the relevant authorities in both France and China,” Interpol said in a statement.
Meng was formerly China’s deputy minister of public security, a position which critics said gave him control over the country’s secret police. He had also served as director of the coastguard and deputy head of the Chinese state oceanic administration.
The first Chinese leader of Interpol, which connects the law enforcement agencies of its 192 member countries, Meng was elected the organisation’s head in November 2016. He replaced French police officer Mireille Ballestrazzi and was due to serve till 2020.