Interpol has issued a statement demanding “clarification” from China after its chief went missing while visiting the country.
The France-based international police body said it was looking forward to an official response from authorities regarding Meng Hongwei, 64.
His wife said she had not heard from him since he left Lyon at the end of last month.
The agency said: “Interpol has requested through official law enforcement channels clarification from China’s authorities on the status of Interpol’s president Meng Hongwei.
“Interpol’s general secretariat looks forward to an official response from China’s authorities to address concerns over the president’s well-being.”
French authorities, which are conducting their own investigation, said Mr Meng, a vice minister for public security in China, definitely boarded a plane and arrived in the country.
According to the South China Morning Post, the Interpol chief may have been a target of a campaign against corruption in the country.
He was reportedly “taken away” for questioning by so-called “discipline authorities”. The term is usually used to describe investigators from the ruling Communist Party.
However, the party’s investigation agency, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, did not make any announcements about Mr Meng, the first person from China to hold the influential Interpol post.
The police agency, which links forces from its 192 member states, is unlikely to be affected by the disappearance, with the secretary general largely responsible for day-to-day operations.
Interpol’s main function is to provide a mechanism for police forces in different countries to notify each other of wanted suspects.
Mr Meng, who entered politics in 1972, has held several senior positions in China as well as vice minister of public security.
In the past, Beijing saw Mr Meng’s election to Interpol as a chance to enlist more international help in tracing alleged economic criminals, including corrupt officials.