The Hong Kong government was still waiting to hear from the mainland authorities on the whereabouts of bookseller Lee Bo despite “multiple inquiries”, Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said yesterday. “We are still waiting for answers from relevant departments on the mainland,” Lai said, indicating that no progress had been made on the mainland side, over two weeks after Lee vanished. “We have pressed [the mainland authorities] several times.” On a radio show on Friday, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying also said the government was seeking answers “from all levels” on the mainland, but he failed to reveal the response to inquiries. Lee – who runs Causeway Bay Books, which sells politically sensitive books banned on the mainland – was last seen in Hong Kong on December 30. He was the fifth bookseller involved with banned publications to disappear in the past two months, prompting thousands of Hong Kong people – who suspect Lee was spirited away by mainland security agents – to take to the streets in protest. READ MORE: Timeline: Hong Kong’s missing booksellers and what has happened so far Lai said the police had raised inquiries with mainland authorities from different channels. He called for public understanding, as “both the police and departments on the mainland need time to process the case”. Under a reciprocal mechanism, law enforcement agencies on the mainland must notify the city’s police within 14 days if a Hong Kong resident is detained across the border. No notice had been received by last Monday’s deadline. However, Leung suggested that day was not a definite deadline, as there were cases in the past which took longer for mainland authorities to give a response. Executive Councillor Lam Woon-kwong told a TV channel last week that Lee and his associates were most likely under detention, though he later said this was his personal observation.