Hong Kong Police Open Missing-Person Case on Bookstore Co-Owner

  • Police awaiting reply from China on bookseller's whereabouts
  • Five people related to Causeway Bay Books missing, SCMP says

Hong Kong’s police department classified the disappearance of a bookstore’s co-owner as a missing-person case.

Lee Bo, a major shareholder of Causeway Bay Books, which specializes in material critical of the Communist Party of China, went missing and his wife reported his disappearance Jan. 1, the South China Morning Post said Saturday. The disappearance of Lee, 65, comes weeks after four people related to the store and its owner vanished, the newspaper said.

The bookstore, established in 1994, was said to be popular among tourists from mainland China as a source of political materials banned across the border, the paper said.

A Xi Jinping poster seen in a staircase leading to the currently closed bookstore

Photographer: Phillipe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

The police have asked China whether Lee was detained in the mainland and are awaiting a reply, John Lee, acting secretary for security, said in a statement on Sunday.

“If there is any indication that the missing person has surfaced at a location outside Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Police will take actions to verify that information” with local law enforcement, he said.

Gui Minhai, the owner of Mighty Current, the publishing house which owns the bookstore, turned up in Thailand after leaving town, the Morning Post reported, without saying how it obtained the information. Store manager Lam Wing-kei; Lui Bo, general manager of the publishing house; and Cheung Jiping, the publisher’s business manager, were reported missing Nov. 5, according to the report.

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