Hong Kong police sent out dozens of officers Thursday to try to get information regarding the whereabouts of bookseller Lee Bo, who has been missing since Wednesday last week, Ming Pao Daily reported.
Lee is a major shareholder of local publisher Mighty Current Media Co., which owns Causeway Bay Books.
The bookstore specializes in gossipy books that purport to reveal the personal secrets of leaders of the ruling Communist Party.
Police acted although Lee’s wife, Sophie Choi Ka-ping asked them Monday night to close the missing-person case she had initiated Friday.
Choi said her husband subsequently sent her a letter saying he is safe and in good health.
At 4:10 p.m. Thursday, about 30 crime unit inspectors and officers from the police tactical unit of the Hong Kong Island regional headquarters began to question people in the neighborhood of a warehouse for books published by Mighty Current.
The warehouse, located in an industrial building opposite MTR Chai Wan Station, was reportedly where Lee was last seen, at about 6 p.m. on Dec. 30.
Divided into teams of two or three, officers questioned people working in the area, including the MTR station, Hong Man Street, Lee Chung Street, Kut Shing Street and Cheung Lee Street, to find out if they had seen any suspicious people or activity.
The operation lasted about one-and-a-half hours.
Also Thursday afternoon, police officers went with a man surnamed Chan to Causeway Bay Books and left with some documents.
Ming Pao confirmed that Chan is in charge of the bookstore’s operations in the absence of its manager, who is one of four other men involved in the firm who disappeared in October.
Criticizing the police action as too late and perfunctory, Democratic Party lawmaker James To Kun-sun said police should put in more effort and resources so as not to let Hongkongers down.
New People’s Party lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun, who is a Hong Kong delegate to the National People’s Congress, said he faxed the Shenzhen Public Security Bureau twice about Lee’s case but had not received any reply.
Tien called the situation “very strange”.
Meanwhile, an article on overseas Chinese-language news website Bowen Press cited an unnamed source as saying Lee was indeed taken away by mainland law enforcement authorities, as has been widely speculated.
The article said the case will be resolved soon, as top officials in Beijing have stepped in, and Lee is expected to return to his normal life.
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