A HONG KONG film director feared kidnapped in China is being held by mainland authorities for unspecified offences, it has emerged. Au Fook-hung, 32 - also known as Chung Shiu-hung - is believed to have been taken away by six men, two in Public Security Bureau uniforms, from outside a Guangzhou studio 12 days ago. The Hong Kong Interpol bureau said it had been told by its counterparts in Beijing that Au had been officially arrested over Christmas. Superintendent Stephen Fung Kin-man said Hong Kong police could not get involved. Interpol had not been told what allegations had been made against Au or where he was being detained, he said. 'I think every country has its own laws and ways of exercising the laws. It is inappropriate for us to intervene,' he said. The film Au had been directing in China was called Oriental Express, and was about two Hong Kong businessmen escaping from the Public Security Bureau after being wrongly accused of murder. Fears Au had been kidnapped grew out of a financial dispute between his father, Au Kan-shing, and people he had been doing business with in Anshan city, Liaoning. Au's wife Ada has said her husband was kidnapped by Anshan Public Security Bureau officers. The captors had demanded a ransom of seven million yuan (HK$6.5 million), she said. The ransom calls were said to have included threats to cut off parts of Au's body. A spokesman for Xinhua (the New China News Agency) said the office had not received a complaint from Mrs Au, who protested outside the agency a few days ago. 'If they come to us directly, we will be able to refer the case to the related mainland offices. But they have not,' he said. Au's father has written an open letter to newspapers, insisting his son played no part in the business, a remittance operation which collapsed last year. Anshan Public Security Bureau has set up a taskforce to investigate claims that 20 million yuan was unaccounted for. Guangdong Public Security Bureau and Chinese Interpol could not be reached for comment. Producer Chan Choi-yin of Sanpo (Hong Kong) said Au's arrest could not have been related to the production because the story had been approved by China. 'His disappearance has given us a lot of trouble . . . we need to pay extra for the extra [production] time incurred,' she said. The movie crew returned yesterday to Guangzhou to continue with a new director. In July, Public Security Bureau officials allegedly kidnapped a mainland representative of an American firm in Beijing because of a dispute with a Chinese company. Mainland police were also accused of abducting Australian businessman James Peng Jiandong, now serving 16 years in jail in China for corruption, from Macau in 1993 with the help of the enclave's police.