Mainland police arrested a man in Fujian province for allegedly trafficking two Hong Kong schoolgirls who had gone missing for days before being located and returned home during a search launched by police on both sides of the border.
The two Form One students aged 12 and 14 at Ju Ching Chu Secondary School in Tuen Mun were located by mainland police in a rented flat in Xiamen, Fujian province, on Wednesday and then taken to Shenzhen, a Hong Kong police source said.
Mainland media reported that mainland police arrested an 18-year-old man from Jiangsu province. He was said to have met the girls through a mobile social networking application.
The man met the girls in Shenzhen as he lured them with claims they would be given job opportunities and entertainment.
The trio then took a high-speed train to Xiamen and stayed in that house in Haicang district.
The pair was examined in a local hospital and confirmed to be uninjured.
Shenzhen police said on its official Sina microblog that the pair had left home due to family issues.
“Their parents have gone to Shenzhen to meet the girls,” the source said, adding that Hong Kong police would also meet them upon their return.
The pair went missing after they left their homes in On Ting Estate and Lung Kwu Tan, Tuen Mun, on Sunday.
The younger girl was reported missing by her parents on Sunday, and the other on Monday. The New Territories North regional missing person unit was then tasked with finding them.
Hong Kong police sought help from their mainland counterparts after investigations showed the girls had crossed the border via the Shenzhen Bay immigration control point on Sunday, according to the source.
It is understood their families also contacted the Shenzhen public security department for assistance.
Shenzhen police made a public appeal and posted the girls’ pictures on its microblog. They were said to be carrying a black backpack and a small suitcase.