A staff member of the British Consulate General in Hong Kong who had been detained by Chinese authorities earlier this month while on a business trip to Shenzhen was released Saturday after 15 days of detention, authorities in the mainland Chinese city said.

Simon Cheng, a trade and investment officer at the consulate and a Hong Kong citizen, returned to Hong Kong the same day, Hong Kong media reported.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said earlier that he had been ordered to a 15-day detention for violating Chinese law. The Shenzhen authorities said he "confessed" to wrongdoing.

Hong Kong media reported earlier that Cheng visited Shenzhen on Aug. 8 to attend a conference and later informed his girlfriend he was boarding a high-speed train, but he did not return home.

The Global Times, a Chinese tabloid, reported earlier this week that Cheng had been detained for "soliciting prostitutes" and quoted the Chinese police division detaining Cheng as saying he requested that his family not be notified about his detention.

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