China asked to divulge information on Interpol chief Meng's disappearance

Interpol President Meng Hongwei walks toward the stage to deliver his opening address at the Interpol World congress. — AP

A spokeswoman for Interpol, who declined to give her name, refused to say whether Meng was on official business in China when he was last heard from.

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

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Interpol, which groups 192 countries and which is usually focused on finding people who are missing or wanted, said it was aware of reports about Meng's "alleged disappearance".

"It is freaky", Broadhurst said Saturday, noting China most likely would "brush off" any political damage to Beijing's involvement in worldwide bodies.

It was not clear why Meng, 64, who was named Interpol's president two years ago, had travelled to China. He likely dealt extensively with former security chief Zhou Yongkang, now serving a life sentence for corruption.

"France is looking into the situation of the President of Interpol and is concerned about the threats his wife has received", the statement said.

During Meng's tenure, Interpol issued a red notice for fugitive Chinese billionaire real estate tycoon Guo Wengui, who threatened to reveal corruption at the country's highest levels.

According to Meng's bio on Interpol's website, he has nearly 40 years of experience in criminal justice and policing, during which he's dealt with issues related to legal institutions, narcotics control, counterterrorism, border control, immigration and worldwide cooperation.

Meng has a shiny curriculum vitae, having held down various positions within China's security establishment, including as a vice-minister of public security - the national police force - since 2004.

Xi has placed a premium on getting officials and businesspeople accused of fraud and corruption to return from overseas, making Meng's position even more sensitive. The 37-year-old is now making headlines around the world for having seemingly vanished.

Roderic Broadhurst, a professor of criminology at Australian National University, said Meng's disappearance would be "pretty disconcerting" for people in global bodies that work with China, and could ultimately damage China's efforts to develop cooperative legal assistance measures with other countries.

Her whereabouts remain unknown.

CNN has contacted Chinese authorities for comment. Fan is being fined around $70 million personally for tax evasion.

So far neither the public security ministry nor the foreign ministry in China has commented. Still out of the public eye, she issued a statement apologising for her actions.

In France, there were only questions.

French police have described the matter as a "worrying disappearance".

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