Was Dubai ruler’s daughter kidnapped by UAE and Indian Special Forces?

Sheikha LatifaThe international advocacy group Human Rights Watch has joined calls for information on the whereabouts of Sheikha Latifa, a member of the royal family of the United Arab Emirates, who some say was abducted in international waters by Emirati and Indian special forces. Princess Latifa, 32, is the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of the Emirate of Dubai and Prime Minister of the UAE. But she has fallen out with the royal family and has repeatedly issued public calls for democratic reforms and more rights for women. In 2002, when she was just 18, she attempted to leave the UAE but was forcibly repatriated by her father’s bodyguards. In recent years, Princess Latifa has continued to vocalize her opposition to her father’s rule, whom she has accused of deploying “death squads” to suppress dissent within the UAE royal family.

It is believed that on February 24, Princess Latifa was joined by Tiina Jauhiainen, a Finnish martial arts instructor who has lived and worked in the Middle East, with the aim of implementing an elaborate escape plan. The two women traveled to neighboring Oman and used jet skis to transport themselves to international waters. There they boarded a yacht captained by Hervé Jaubert, a French former intelligence officer who also has United States citizenship. Jaubert became internationally known in 2009 for escaping from the UAE without a passport, after authorities there accused him of owing money to investors. Jaubert’s yacht, The Nostromo, sailed from the Arabian Gulf toward India with the two women and three Filipino crew members onboard. On February 26, Princess Latifa posted several messages on social media, including a video in English, explaining her reasons for leaving her home country. But soon afterwards, The Nostromo went missing while sailing toward the coastal Indian state of Goa. It didn’t reappear again until March 20, when it sailed for Sri Lanka with its captain and crew, but without the two women on board.

Jaubert has since told reporters that his ship was intercepted in international waters by “two unmarked speedboats” carrying between six and eight commandos. They used stun guns and smoke grenades to neutralize the yacht’s crew, which they proceeded to handcuff and blindfold. The soldiers then took the two women. Notably they spoke to Princess Latifa in English, prompting Jaubert to conclude that they were Indian, not Arab. Some reports later claimed that a minimum of five Indian and Emirati warships, as well as two military airplanes and a helicopter, participated in the attack on The Nostromo. Jauhiainen, who was eventually released and is now back in Europe, confirmed Jaubert’s account.

But the Indian authorities have rejected these claims, arguing that they have no knowledge of such a military or paramilitary operation off the coast of Goa. Human Rights Watch recently issued a formal call on the Indian and Emirati governments to reveal the precise whereabouts of Princess Latifa, who has not been seen since the raid. “Failure to disclose the whereabouts and status of the princess could qualify as an enforced disappearance, given the evidence suggesting that she was last seen as UAE authorities were detaining her”, said the international advocacy group. The government of the UAE has not responded to media requests for comment.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 07 May 2018 | Permalink

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French former spy wanted in Dubai to be tried in Florida

Herve Jaubert

Herve Jaubert

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A French former spy who escaped secretly from the United Arab Emirates, where he is wanted for fraud and embezzlement, will face trial in the US, where he currently resides. Herve Jaubert left Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE), France’s foreign intelligence agency, in 1993, to pursue a career in the luxury tourist market, first in Florida and then in Dubai. But less than a year ago, Emirates authorities accused the Frenchman of embezzling nearly $4 million from Dubai World, a company he helped found in the country. Jaubert says he was threatened with torture by Emirates authorities and decided to escape, despite having been forced to surrender his French passport. He allegedly left the country using an inflatable rubber dinghy to reach a sailboat located just outside UAE territorial waters, which he then used to sail to India. Read more of this post

More information on ex-French spy’s escape from Dubai

Herve Jaubert

Herve Jaubert

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
New information has emerged on former French spy Herve Jaubert’s alleged secret escape from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), which intelNews reported last week. British newspaper The Sunday Telegraph has published an article with details of Jaubert’s escape, including a photograph of the former spy dressed in a black abaya, a head-to-toe burka traditionally worn by Muslim women in the Persian Gulf. Jaubert left Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE), France’s foreign intelligence agency, in 1993, to pursue a career in the luxury tourist market, first in Florida and then in Dubai. But less than a year ago, Emirates authorities accused the Frenchman of embezzling nearly $4 million from Dubai World, a company he helped found in the country. Jaubert says he was threatened with torture by overzealous Emirates authorities and decided to escape, despite having been forced to surrender his French passport. Read more of this post

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