French police launch investigation into missing Interpol chief

Meng Hongwei was reported missing by his wife

The probe was launched after Meng's wife reported his disappearance to police in Lyon, France's second largest city and where the agency is headquartered.

Meng, 64, has been unaccounted for since he left France for China in late September, Europe 1 radio reported.

Interpol said it was aware of reports in connection with Meng's "alleged disappearance".

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

European officials reported that he left the country on 29 September. He is not believed to have disappeared in France, where the International Criminal Police Organization is based, according to French media, quoting authorities in France.

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".

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While there are no public allegations against him, Meng, a member of the ruling Communist Party, likely worked closely with former security chief and Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, who is now serving a life sentence for corruption.

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

Meng's term is scheduled to run until 2020. "Interpol's General Secretariat headquarters will not comment further".

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

He was named president of interpol in 2016.

His appointment was met with concern by academics and human rights advocates, who feared he would abuse Interpol's powers to forcibly repatriate Chinese dissidents and fugitives.