A 33-year-old woman, said to be the daughter of Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Saeed Al Maktoum, has reportedly gone missing off the coast of Goa.
As reported by NDTV, a video of Sheikha Latifa released by her US-based lawyer, speaking about the reality of the her life as part of the Dubai royal family where she was beaten and tortured, had recently surfaced on the internet.
The video, the NDTV report says, starts with the line: “I am making this video because this could be the last video I make...”
According to the report, Latifa was last heard from when she had sent frantic Whatsapp messages to a contact in ‘Detained in Dubai’, a legal firm working for those with problems in the UAE, saying that she was with a friend, Herve Jaubert and that they were “surrounded by men” and were being shot at.
The messages, NDTV reports, were sent at approximately 4:30 pm on Sunday, 4 March.
At the time, she was believed to have been messaging from a US-registered boat, which on last count was positioned about 50 miles from the Indian coastline.
Avinandan Mitra, Deputy Commandant of the Coast Guard of India, however, told NDTV that they did not have any kind of information relating to Latifa or her friend.
Latifa is one of the Sheikh’s 31 sons and daughters, and the middle one of the three daughters named Latifa .
According to the NDTV report, Latifa got in touch with Radha Stirling in February, who works at ‘Detained in Dubai’, and sought her help, having disclosed that she had escaped from Dubai, where she had been tortured and imprisoned for showing support for one of her siblings who had also run away from home.
According to the NDTV report, her friend, Herve Jaubert, who is a US-based French writer, had also told the firm that Latifa and him were planning on flying to the US from India on 5 March. However, he said that they were unsure about the welcome they would receive in the country.
Now according to a report by The National, Jaubert, 54, was a former French intelligence officer, and after spending ten years in service, he moved to Puerto Rico in 1996 and began a submarine charter business.
He then made the acquaintance of a Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the former Dubai World chairman in 2004, who placed an order with him for three submersibles. However, according to the report, Jaubert couldn’t deliver on the submersibles as promised, despite the company pumping in millions.
He was reportedly accused on fraud charges by the Dubai authorities, but was later acquitted. However, his countersuit claims were found false.
Jaubert, however, had claimed that the Dubai authorities were out to prosecute him and that he was forced to flee from the country in April 2008, after his passport was confiscated in 2007. According to his story, he had gone on to disable a patrol boat, and sail to India before returning to Florida.
However, no information as to how his path crossed with Latifa’s is available.
What is known, though, is that Latifa had sent the Whatsapp messages to Stirling, saying that she could hear some men outside her room, and the sound of gunshots. But, as reported by NDTV, when Stirling asked her to record and send across what she was hearing, Latifa never replied.
In the video, she speaks about moving to the US and says: “Pretty soon I am going to be leaving somehow. I am not sure of the outcome but I am 99 percent sure it will work. This video will save my life. I am looking forward to waking up and thinking I have the freedom to do anything I want to.”