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The Lyon-based worldwide police agency said Saturday that it used law enforcement channels to submit its request about Meng's status to Beijing, citing concerns about his well-being.

Interpol has asked Beijing to clarify the situation of Interpol president Meng Hongwei, who has been reported missing, the worldwide police organization's secretary-general Juergen Stock said on Saturday.

Police in Lyon, the French city in which Interpol is based, had earlier launched their own investigation into Meng's disappearance after his wife reported him missing.

On Friday, the French police started an investigation after the Meng's wife reported that he was missing, unidentified police officials told Reuters.

Meng Hongwei, Interpol's president, boarded a plane and arrived in China, according to a French judicial official.

The missing president of Interpol, Meng Hongwei, has deep ties to China's sprawling domestic security sector, including a lengthy term as vice minister of public security.

Meng is also a vice minister for public security in China.

Meng Hongwei's disappearance seems to fit in with a now familiar pattern among China's senior Communist Party officials. He was head or deputy head of branches of the coast guard, and in 2016, he was elected Interpol's president.

The South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper, has suggested that Mr Meng may have been the latest target of an ongoing campaign against corruption in China.

While Meng is head of the executive committee that oversees Interpol, the agency is run by the secretary general.

"Exchanges with Chinese authorities continue", the ministry said.

Interpol said it was aware of reports of the "alleged disappearance" of its president and said the issue was a matter for France and China. His wife reported him missing.

INTERPOL President Meng Hongwei poses during a visit to the headquarters of International Police Organisation in Lyon, France, May 8, 2018.

China now has 44 outstanding red notices, mostly related to murder, intentional injury and drug smuggling, according to Interpol's web site. "It is quite possible that Meng found himself on the wrong side of the political divide in China, at a time when President Xi Jinping is intensifying his crackdown on corruption".

Mr Meng is the first person from China to serve as Interpol's president, a post that is largely symbolic but powerful in status.

However, his appointment was an alarming sign of China's ability to shape global organisations, including those in which its authoritarian influence was extremely risky, she said. However, it does not have the power to send officers into countries to arrest individuals or issue arrest warrants. His experience ranges from narcotics control to counter-terrorism, according to Interpol's website.


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