Roderic Broadhurst, a professor of criminology at Australian National University, said Meng's disappearance was "bizarre" and would be "pretty disconcerting" for people in worldwide bodies that work with China, and could ultimately damage China's efforts to develop cooperative legal assistance measures with other countries.
South China Morning Post, a media house based in Hong Kong quoted a source saying that chief Meng was "taken away" for questioning by discipline authorities "as soon as he landed in China" last week.
It is not clear why Meng - the first Chinese president of Interpol - would be under investigation.
It is the latest high-profile disappearance in China, where a number of top government officials, billionaire business magnates and even celebrity Fan Bingbing (范冰冰) have vanished for weeks or months at a time.
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The French interior ministry, meanwhile, said it was concerned about unspecified "threats" received by Meng's wife.
Critics of Meng's 2016 election to Interpol's presidency said he would use the position to help China target dissidents overseas under the guise of pursuing corrupt officials. His wife has since reported him missing.
According to BBC Asia Editor Celia Hatton, Meng Hongwei's disappearance seems to fit in with a now familiar pattern among China's senior Communist Party officials. Since Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, well over a million party officials have been disciplined in some way. "State-controlled media is so far not reporting this story either and any mention of his name on social media is being deleted", he said.
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.More news: USA jobless rate hits 49-year low of 3.7 percent
However, his appointment was an alarming sign of China's ability to shape worldwide organisations, including those in which its authoritarian influence was extremely unsafe, she said.
Interpol's defacto chief is its secretary general who is responsible for most of the operations.
He heads the organisation's Executive Committee, which provides overall guidance and direction. His experience ranges from narcotics control to counter-terrorism, according to Interpol's website.
China's Ministry of Public Security did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.
The Interpol chief's wife, who is living in France, where the global law enforcement organization is based, reported him missing on Friday, according to multiple media reports.
"Then, in 2016, another vice minister of public security was jailed for corruption, so there is a pattern emerging".
His appointment caused concern among academics and human rights advocates, who feared he would abuse Interpol's powers to forcibly repatriate Chinese dissidents and fugitives.
"As a matter of fact, Interpol cannot by itself investigate the whereabouts of its missing president, but it can, and in fact should, issue a yellow notice", she said.