Chinese police in Zhuhai have confirmed that a Hong Kong man was arrested last Friday on a cross-border mega bridge for a crime he allegedly committed in 2012.

The statement came after reports emerged that a man had gone missing on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. The man’s son told local media that his father had texted him at 3pm to say that he was being detained while travelling through an artificial island staffed by mainland Chinese police en route to the semi-autonomous city of Macau.

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. File Photo: GovHK.

Part of the bridge, connecting Hong Kong and Macau, falls under Chinese jurisdiction. Zhuhai’s Public Security Bureau said in a statement on Monday that it and the immigration inspection authority had been conducting a joint operation on the artificial island last Friday, despite not normally hosting a checkpoint there.

Zhuhai police said they apprehended a wanted 53-year-old suspect, surnamed Chung, while inspected a bus heading towards Macau at 3pm last Friday.

Chung’s family have not confirmed that he was the man reported missing in local media on Friday.

Zhuhai police said that Chung was wanted for his alleged involvement in organised cross-border phone smuggling.

“He is an important member of the smuggling group. The Zhuhai immigration inspection authority has transferred Chung to the investigative unit,” the Bureau said.

artificial island Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge
The locations of the artificial islands. Photo: GovHK.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to visit Macau for the 20th anniversary of the territory’s handover on December 20.

Zhuhai police said it had captured several suspects on the run since it began checks on the bridge on December 10. “Everyone is equal before the law. Anyone who breaks the law will be pursued by the law,” it added.

Hong Kong Police Public Relations Branch Chief Superintendent Kwok Ka-chuen said at a press conference on Monday that he could not comment on individual cases. But he confirmed that a missing person report was filed on Saturday.

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Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.