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London NGO ‘Detained in Dubai’ protected by counter-terrorism unit following bomb threat spurred by missing persons report for Dubai princess

Press release   •   Mar 13, 2018 14:59 GMT

All offices related to Detained in Dubai and its partners under note

London based legal organisation Detained in Dubai is being temporarily protected by counterterrorism services following a bomb threat that was apparently spurred by the group’s filing of a police report for the missing Dubai princess Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum and the dual French/American man who helped her flee the UAE.

This release is issued to assist authorities with the search for three missing people and to update the world’s media.

London based legal organisation Detained in Dubai temporarily protected by counterterrorism services following a bomb threat that was apparently spurred by the group’s filing of a police report for the missing Dubai princess Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum and the dual French/American man who helped her flee the UAE. The Metropolitan police say the UK National Crime Agency (NCA) and Interpol are investigating the missing persons.

Hervé and Latifa had been in contact with CEO Radha Stirling to seek assistance with their plan to apply for asylum in the United States for the Dubai princess, who claimed to have suffered years of abuse. They told Ms Stirling that they were on an American registered boat en route to India, where they planned to disembark, having prearranged visas; and then fly to the US from Mumbai. Over the course of their contact, it was also communicated that a third person, believed to be a British/Irish national, was accompanying Latifa as a friend.

On Sunday, March 4 2018, Ms Stirling received a voice call from Latifa in which she pleaded for urgent help; she indicated that their vessel had been boarded. In what would be her final text message, Latifa wrote that she and her friend were hiding in the bathroom, and that she had heard gunfire. Neither she nor Hervé Jaubert have been heard from since.

Immediately upon initial contact, Detained in Dubai commenced steps to verify the identity of the parties and the claims made. British Solicitor David Haigh was able to contact various third parties who confirmed the identity of Sheikha Latifa. During this process there was regular and lengthy contact between the missing persons and Detained in Dubai. Stirling says, “the woman whom multiple sources confirmed to be Sheikha Latifa was clearly distressed and afraid. She repeatedly stated that she was in fear for her life. So, when communication ceased after her last message, we were gravely concerned about her safety, and the safety of all on board.”

As the lawyers involved in receiving the distress call were all British based, and it is believed that there was a British national onboard, advice of Queen’s Counsel was to report the incident to British authorities. Detained in Dubai filed a police report with the Metropolitan police, the UAE Embassy in the UK, the United States State Department and the Coast Guard of India. The only authority who has responded is the United Kingdom who have forwarded the report to the National Crime Agency and Interpol for investigation.

Once the initial missing persons report was filed, but before the details were made public, Detained in Dubai received their first ever bomb threat, which was forwarded to the counterterrorism unit. A crime report was created and security personnel surveying the organisation’s offices on the basis of the threat and surrounding circumstances.

In a video recorded by Latifa before her “escape”, which she sent to her American attorney, she details many serious allegations against her father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and his associates, including crimes well beyond the abuse she claims to have suffered on her father’s orders. She repeats several times that the authorities want her dead. With this background, Latifa’s disappearance is all the more troubling.  British lawyers are reviewing legal actions that could be taken on her behalf and whether any crimes have been laid out.

A group of lawyers and human rights advocates from the UK and around the world have created a website dedicated to soliciting information on the whereabouts of the missing persons, www.escapefromdubai.org. A prominent British barrister, Harpreet Singh Giani who is also an Indian advocate and who is cooperating with the effort to find the missing persons, has confirmed from his sources within the Indian intelligence community that Sheikha Latifa is alive and that she has been “taken back to Dubai”. Mr Giani was unable to comment whether there was any military involvement by either country. However, there have been reports that an Electronic Warfare Aircraft was in the vicinity, a craft designed to interrupt communication platforms which would have required India’s approval. Stirling and others are therefore calling for an independent investigation into an incident that potentially involves the kidnapping of at least three parties who are likely to have been in Indian territorial waters.

Background

Missing persons report filed for Florida resident, author and ex French intelligence agent, Hervé Jaubert - last heard from off the coast of India.

British NGO Detained in Dubai received a plea for emergency assistance from dual American/French national Hervé Jaubert, famous for his book “Escape from Dubai”. Hervé and a young woman who claimed to be a daughter of the ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, made contact with Detained in Dubai to seek assistance. They said that they were “escaping” the United Arab Emirates to seek refuge in the United States, following the woman’s claims of “imprisonment, torture and abuse”, the details of which are described in a YouTube video that was sent to a US attorney for publication in the event of her disappearance or death. Their identities have been confirmed by multiple parties.

Hervé advised Detained in Dubai that he was helping the woman “escape Dubai” on board a US registered vessel. They were approaching India on Sunday the 4th of March 2018 and were within 50 miles as of 11:00 GMT, with the plan to disembark and fly to the US from Mumbai. A distress call was made seven hours later from Sheikha Latifa to Radha Stirling, then contact ceased immediately and permanently.

An American man, an Emirati woman and a third woman, believed to be British, have all been reported as missing. Since then, a prominent British barrister, Harpreet Singh Giani who is also an Indian advocate, has confirmed from his sources within the Indian intelligence community that Sheikha Latifa is alive and that she has been “taken back to Dubai”. Mr Giani was unable to comment whether there was any military involvement by either country. However, there have been reports that an Electronic Warfare Aircraft was in the vicinity, a craft designed to interrupt communication platforms which would have required India’s approval. We are therefore calling for an independent investigation into an incident that potentially involves the kidnapping of at least three parties who are likely to have been in Indian territorial waters.

Radha Stirling, Detained in Dubai’s CEO, who was instructed to assist by the missing persons, said “We call on relevant international authorities to investigate the disappearance of US National Hervé Jaubert, Emirati National Sheikha Latifa and her British/Irish friend. No questions as to the whereabouts of the missing persons have been answered and no responses provided by the United Arab Emirates government. We are gravely concerned for the safety of all three parties and thank all of those who have come forth with information.”

Further Information:

Detained in Dubai was contacted by a woman who identified herself as a Sheikha Latifa Mohammed Al Maktoum the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and a man who identified himself as Jean Pierre Hervé Jaubert, who was known to Detained in Dubai’s CEO Radha Stirling; stating that Latifa was “escaping Dubai” with the help of Jaubert due to what she described as ‘years of abuse’.

On Sunday the 4th of March, Ms Stirling was advised by Hervé at 11:00 GMT that the vessel was within 50 miles of India and that they intended to disembark. At 18:24 GMT, Ms. Stirling received a distress message, followed by a distress call from the woman who appeared in a panicked and frightened state. She stated "Radha, please help. There are men outside. I hear gunshots and I am hiding with my friend".

Following the distress call, communication with all of the missing persons ceased. Having had communication with the missing person previously, and following the distress call, Detained in Dubai alerted the relevant authorities. Detained in Dubai further sought the assistance of leading human rights Barristers and Queen's Counsel together with the assistance of several leading human rights charities with which Detained in Dubai works.

Detained in Dubai filed a police report with the Metropolitan police, the UAE Embassy in the UK, the United States State Department and the Coast Guard of India. The only authority who has responded is the United Kingdom who have forwarded the report to the National Crime Agency and Interpol for investigation.

Since the incident, parties who had known the missing persons have confirmed their identities and last known location. Close friends have confirmed that the woman in the video was indeed Sheikha Latifa. The woman explained that there are three Sheikha Latifa’s and that she was the middle one known for skydiving, and hosting the instagram account latifa_1.

Two US attorneys confirmed that they were aware of the situation and had been contacted by American and French national and Florida resident Hervé Jaubert, who was a client of theirs. They have since prepared a missing persons report.

The @MailOnline broke the news on Friday and showed part of a video where Sheikha Latifa explains some of the reasons for her escape attempt. The video was provided to a US attorney by Latifa herself for distribution in the event of her death or disappearance. The video extends for around 40 minutes and makes claims that she was "imprisoned, tortured, beaten and censored” and was also forcibly drugged and sedated for years on end. She further goes on to name those involved, setting out various potential crimes. That video was provided to the authorities and legal advisors. The full video has since been published on YouTube by a variety of sources.

Radha Stirling, who was the last party to speak with the missing persons said "We are very concerned for the safety of the missing persons. We have already been inundated with calls and emails and evidence that assist us and the authorities. We appeal to anyone for any information that could be helpful to please get in touch with us. We would also like to appeal to anyone that can assist with the search. Lawyers, Human rights organisations, friends, family or even the General public.

The missing persons requested our assistance and instructed us to assist them in in the event of their arrest or disappearance, which we are now doing. We are liaising with authorities, leading human rights lawyers and human rights organisations.

We are seeking response from US, British, Indian and UAE authorities on this incident. A US national and his American registered boat have gone missing, as well as Sheikha Latifa and a female friend (thought to be a British/Irish national), with Indian intelligence suggesting that they are now in the custody of UAE authorities against their will.”

A website has been created by a group of lawyers and human rights advocates: www.escapefromdubai.org

Anyone with information on the missing persons, please contact: escapefromdubai2018@gmail.com

Press Queries: press@detainedindubai.org

UAE Criminal and Civil Justice Specialists.  Contact us on info@detainedindubai.org

Detained in Dubai 2007-2018. Detained in Dubai Limited, is registered in England and Wales under company number 11248768 with its registered office at Kemp House, 180 City Road, London EC1 2NX UK

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