A man has been arrested and charged over the kidnapping of New Zealand real estate agent Yanfei Bao.

Bao, from Christchurch, was last seen in the area of Wigram around 10.30am on Wednesday.

Her mobile phone was located on the Southern Motorway on Friday, which police said was most concerning.

Detective Inspector Nicola Reeves said the arrest was made following ongoing investigations into Bao’s disappearance.

“He has been remanded in custody and is due in the Christchurch District Court tomorrow,” Det Insp Reeves said.

The NZ Herald reported that the man was planning to leave the country, and police arrested him at an airport.

Police say they now have 40 pieces of information from the public to assess.

On Saturday night, police seized a vehicle of interest and search warrants were executed at two addresses, one at located at Bryndwr and one at Wigram.

“As a result, several people are assisting police with inquiries.”

A resident had reported to police that they had seen Bao’s car parked a street away from the Wigram property a day before she disappeared, and then in a similar place on Wednesday morning.

Police left the houses on Sunday.

A man who was at one of the home’s police were searching on Sunday declined to comment when approached by the NZ Herald: “I know nothing and I don’t think I can say anything, I totally don’t know what happened”.

He said “no” when asked if he knew Bao.

The family suspect the kidnapping was in relation to a cash buyer who wanted to get $600,000 ($550,949) from China to purchase a property, Bao’s sister, Huafei, said.

“The thing I hope for most is to find my younger sister, and that she is OK,” Huafei said.

On Wednesday morning Bao called her friend Jin Tian and asked how someone she was working with could transfer money from China to pay for a property, The Press reported.

She also posted on Facebook about Bao: “She mentioned about a potential client who wants to transfer money to NZ and checked if about the rate and channel.

“Then she said she was going to call the person to see how he/she wanted and would call me back. And she did not,” Tian wrote.

Bao’s husband, Paul Gooch, had also released a statement: “My family and I are deeply concerned for the safety and wellbeing of my beloved wife, Yanfei Bao. Our 9-year-old daughter and I are desperate for any information that could help police locate her.”

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By Rahul

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