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Crime

Hong Kong police launch search for asylum seeker who went missing after leaving her son with friend

The 39-year-old Ugandan woman was last seen three days ago when she dropped off her one-year-old son with a friend living in Yau Ma Tei

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 September, 2018, 6:21pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 September, 2018, 7:14pm

Hong Kong police were searching for a female asylum seeker from the African continent on Thursday, three days after she left her one-year-old son in the care of a friend living in Yau Ma Tei.

The citywide police search for the 39-year-old Ugandan kicked off at 10.45am on Thursday when her friend, a 33-year-old Indonesian woman, living in a Yau Ma Tei flat was unable to contact her and called police.

“No obvious injuries were found on the toddler. He was taken to Kwong Wah Hospital for a check-up,” a police spokesman said.

Initial information showed the Ugandan woman took her son to the Man Ying Building flat in Man Yuen Street on Monday night and left after asking her friend to take care of the child, according to police.

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Detectives from Yau Tsim police district are investigating.

Separately, a boy thought to be aged about four was found wandering at the departure hall of Lo Wu control point at about 8.15pm on Wednesday. The boy was found wearing a hearing aid, according to police.

Police said no injuries were found on the boy and he was taken to North District Hospital in Sheung Shui for a medical examination.

His father, 48, was arrested at the same border checkpoint at about 9.30am when he returned to the city from Shenzhen and reported his son missing.

As of 4pm, the man was still being held for questioning and had not been charged. Officers from the border police station are handling the case.

In Hong Kong, wilfully assaulting, ill-treating or neglecting a child below the age of 16 under one’s care in a manner likely to cause injury carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail, according to the Offences Against the Persons Ordinance.

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According to official statistics, the Social Welfare Department handled 554 cases of child abuse in the first six months of this year. About 47 per cent of the cases involved physical abuse.

Meanwhile, an 11-year-old girl who went missing after she left home on Wednesday was found safe in Tseung Kwan O shortly after 4pm on Thursday.

Police said the 1.5m-tall girl went missing after she left her flat in Tsui Lam Estate, Tseung Kwan O on Wednesday morning.