The president of the international law enforcement organization Interpol is being reported as missing days after traveling to his home country of China last week. According to Reuters, Meng Hongwei was reported missing by his wife in Lyon, France, after she could not contact him for several days.
French police officials investigating the case described Hongwei’s disappearance as “worrying” while speaking to reporters from Reuters. Interpol also confirmed their knowledge of the situation and stated that “This is a matter for the relevant authorities in both France and China.”
#NEWS – Media statement concerning INTERPOL President Meng Hongwei. pic.twitter.com/P46AeXsGiS
— INTERPOL (@INTERPOL_HQ) October 5, 2018
Hongwei previously severed as China’s minister of public security before joining Interpol in 2016. His appointment as president came under scrutiny from some activist groups that worried Hongwei’s close relationship with Beijing could lead to corruption of the police agency.
According to Reuters, Hongwei’s position as President in “largely ceremonial,” with most of the agency’s operations being directed by secretary general Juergen Stock of Germany.
The organization’s mandate is to “facilitate international police cooperation even where diplomatic relations do not exist between particular countries,” according to its website. The group also provides law enforcement agencies across the globe with technical and investigative support. Currently, 192 countries are members of Interpol.