Princess Latifa urges UK police to reopen sister's kidnap case

25/02/2021 07:21
Princess Latifa urges UK police to reopen sister's kidnap case

Princess Latifa, the captive daughter of Dubai's ruler, has appealed to UK police to re-investigate the kidnap of her older sister from a Cambridge street more than 20 years ago.

In a letter shared with the BBC, Latifa tells Cambridgeshire police this could help free Princess Shamsa, who was captured on the orders of their father.

Shamsa, who was just 18 then and is now 39, has not been seen in public since.

The government of Dubai has not responded to BBC requests for comment.

A High Court judge ruled in 2019, that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum had abducted both daughters and held them against their will.

Last week BBC Panorama broadcast shocking videos Latifa had secretly recorded on a phone she had been given, in which she described how she was being held "hostage" by her father following a failed escape attempt in 2018. The UN has since asked the United Arab Emirates for proof that Latifa is alive.

 

But almost two decades earlier, an attempt by her older sister to flee the family also ended in capture and imprisonment.

In August 2000, around two months after escaping from her father's Longcross Estate in Surrey, Shamsa was forcibly taken from Cambridge, flown by helicopter to France and then by private jet back to Dubai.

Latifa's handwritten letter, which was passed to the Cambridgeshire force by her friends on Wednesday, urges action for her sister by British authorities. It was written in 2019 while she was being held in solitary confinement in a "jail villa".

"All I ask of you", writes Latifa, "is to please give attention on her case because it could get her her freedom... your help and attention on her case could free her."

She adds: "She has strong links to England… she really loves England, all of her fondest memories are of her time there."

Princess Latifa urges UK police to reopen sister's kidnap case

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