Fraud charges withdrawn due to lack of evidence A Hong Kong businessman, detained on the mainland for more than five years without seeing his family, has been released and returned home. Chan Tsz-cheung, 59, was freed after his family met senior officials in Beijing and sought help from the People's Daily newspaper. The case caused anger when it was alleged that a Guangdong public security officer had crossed the border in 2001 to investigate the matter without informing the Hong Kong authorities. Mr Chan's daughter said the man interviewed her and asked for 14 million yuan to secure her father's release. Mr Chan's family said the Guangdong Provincial Procuratorate withdrew fraud charges and released him from a detention centre in Shenzhen on November 11 due to a lack of evidence. Mr Chan returned home 11 days later, after his travel documents were returned. The businessman does not want to talk about his detention but his son, Michael Chan Yuen-shing, said it was a 'big relief'. 'My dad is having a rest at home. His health is not good and he has diabetes and high blood pressure. He has lost 20 pounds and his hair is grey. He looks like he's 70,' he said. Mr Chan said they contacted the People's Daily a few months ago and at the same time arranged to meet senior officials in Beijing in October. He said things were 'a lot smoother' afterwards. 'To be honest, the Hong Kong government didn't help us much. All they did was pass our letters to mainland authorities like a senior postman. But they did help my dad get his travel documents back.' The businessman was detained in October 2001 by public security officials in Guangdong over an US$800,000 indirect loan from a mainland-linked company registered in Hong Kong, despite his lawyer's claims that the civil case on the matter had already been settled in Hong Kong courts. The US$2.9 million loan in Mr Chan's fraud case was granted by the Guangdong government-backed Guangnan (Holdings) to the Jiangmen government-backed Yet Post International in 1994. Yet Post borrowed the money after Mr Chan's Hong Kong company, Haw Well Trading, approached it for a loan. After Yet Post went into liquidation in July 2001, Guangnan sought the outstanding amount from Mr Chan. Guangdong officials initially denied arresting Mr Chan but admitted in May 2003 that he had been detained without charge for 19 months. Soon after, the case was transferred to Shenzhen. He went on trial on a fraud charge in Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court in April 2004. Seven months later, the court ruled it did not have jurisdiction on the matter. However, Mr Chan was kept in detention. Ho Hei-wah, director of the Society for Community Organisation which has helped the family, said the case showed the Hong Kong government was powerless in protecting the rights of Hong Kong residents on the mainland.