Interpol chief's wife and children guarded by police after threats

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Meng's position as Interpol's president is less hands-on than the organization's secretary general, but he works out of its headquarters in Lyon, France, and has made frequent appearances at crime prevention gatherings.

Interpol asked China to clarify the status of the law enforcement group's president, amid press reports that he's been arrested in his home country.

French officials said that members of Meng's family have not heard from him since he departed from the French city of Lyon on September 25, according to a report from the BBC.

Vice-Minister at China's Ministry of Public Security, Meng Hongwei is now under investigation in China, amidst the mystery surrounding his disappearance after his wife reported to the French police that he went missing.

Meng was appointed as the chief of Interpol in 2016 which also sparked controversy as it was alleged that China is extending its crackdown on people overseas.

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

There have been several cases in recent years of senior Chinese officials vanishing without explanation, only for the government to announce weeks or even months later that they have been put under investigation, often for suspected corruption.

"France is puzzled about the situation of Interpol's president and concerned about the threats made to his wife", the ministry said. The paper, which based its reporting on an unnamed source, said the reason for Meng's questioning was unknown.

Meng, who is China's vice minister for public security and a former head of Interpol China, was elected president of Interpol in November 2016.

The South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper, has implied Meng may have been the latest target of China's ongoing anti-corruption campaign. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the party's secretive internal investigation agency, had no announcements on its website about Meng and could not be reached for comment. Meng's term is due to run until 2020.

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Beijing saw Meng's election as a chance to enlist more global help in tracking down alleged economic criminals, including corrupt officials, targeted by President Xi Jinping's anti-graft campaign. The official in question suddenly drops out of the public eye and an alarm is raised that the person is "missing", usually by members of the public.

China, in the midst of a weeklong holiday, offered no comment on the disappearance of Meng.

The 36-year-old took to China's Twitter-like Weibo to acknowledge her wrongs, beg for her supporters" forgiveness, and apologise to "society, the friends who care about me, the public and the national tax authorities'.

In 2014, China worked through Interpol to issue notices for 100 Chinese corruption suspects who fled overseas.

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