The former President of Interpol, Meng Hongwei, is under investigation by Chinese authorities for bribery, under what seems to be a new form of custody called ‘liuzhi’.
Mr Meng went missing on a trip to China in late September.
Before his disappearance, his wife, Grace Meng, reported to French authorities that she received a text message from her husband containing a knife emoji, interpreting it as a sign he was in danger.
As the world’s largest international police organisation, with 192 member countries, Interpol, helps global police forces co-operate on investigations.
Mr Meng was the first Chinese president of the Lyon, France, based group. His tenure was meant to end in 2020, but he resigned after Chinese authorities admitted they had detained the former president.
Mr Meng is the latest target of an anti-corruption campaign that critics say is a cover for eliminating political figures disloyal to China’s president, Xi Jinping.
‘Liuzhi’, which means house arrest or house confinement, denies detainees access to lawyers and family contact for up to six months.
Interpol has since appointed Kim Jong Yang, of South Korea, as interim President.