Investor Bought Into Missing Bookseller's Publisher, SCMP Says

  • Police took man to bookstore to obtain documents: report
  • U.S. `shares concern of Hong Kong' people over disappearance

A new investor bought a stake in a publishing house related to missing Hong Kong bookseller Lee Bo in November after four of Lee’s colleagues disappeared, the South China Morning Post reported Saturday, citing a person with knowledge of the investigation.

Police took the man who allegedly invested in Mighty Current publishing house to the Causeway Bay Books store on Thursday to obtain documents, the newspaper reported. The person with knowledge of the investigation declined to say whether the investment was completed before Lee’s disappearance. A bald, middle-aged man went to the bookstore to see Lee around three hours before he went missing on Dec. 30, the South China Morning Post reported, citing another person.

The U.S. shares “the concern of the people of Hong Kong regarding these disappearances” and is following the issue closely, State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a transcript of an interview published on the department’s website Jan. 8.

The European Union said in a statement on Jan. 8 that the case of the missing bookshop staff is “extremely worrying,” urging authorities in China and Hong Kong to investigate and clarify the situation “in conformity with the rule of law.” Two of the five missing individuals associated with Mighty Current are EU citizens. The U.K. government also is pressing China for more information over the disappearance of Lee, a British passport holder.

Lee, part owner of Causeway Bay Books, was reported missing on Jan. 1 by his wife, who said her last contact with him was from a telephone number in Shenzhen, southern China. His disappearance came weeks after four other men affiliated with the bookshop went missing.

Lee’s wife on Jan. 4 withdrew a request to Hong Kong police for help. Taiwan’s Central News Agency published a handwritten letter said to be faxed from 65-year-old Lee to a bookstore colleague. In it, he said he took his “own way” to China to assist in an investigation that might take some time.

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