Interpol president Meng Hongwei reported missing after travelling to China

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French police have opened an investigation into the reported disappearance last month of Meng Hongwei, the Chinese head of the worldwide police organization Interpol, sources close to the inquiry told European news outlets on Friday.

Chinese politician Meng Hongwei was first reported missing by his wife after traveling to China.

The investigation was opened after Mr Meng's wife went to police to report her husband missing.

The 64-year-old Meng Hongwei was elected president of Interpol in November 2016. In Beijing, the foreign and public security ministries did not immediately respond to calls and faxed requests for comment Friday.

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In a statement, Interpol itself only said the disappearance is a "matter for the relevant authorities in both France and China", and declined to elaborate further. China in recent years has submitted to Interpol extensive lists of repatriation targets and "red notices" - an global alert for a wanted person - for what it says are corrupt fugitives.

Interpol, which coordinates worldwide policing efforts, says it is aware of media reports in connection with Hongwei's disappearance. His term runs until 2020.

Mr Meng has held several senior positions in China including vice minister of public security, vice chairman of the national narcotics control commission and the director of the National Counter-Terrorism Office for China.

Meng was appointed head of Interpol in 2016. "The Secretary General is the Organization's full time official responsible for the day to day running of Interpol".

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