UK court ruled on March 5 that the Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum abducted her daughter Princess Latifa and subjected to inhuman treatment. In a failed attempt to escape her father’s clutches, Latifa reportedly took the help of a friend and used car, dinghy, and jet skis to flee from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2018.
As per an account of Latifa's inhuman treatment, escape attempts, and abduction, the princess was allegedly captured off the Indian coast by special forces commandos, which the UK court ruled accurate. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a 70-year-old billionaire ruler of Dubai, has gained notoriety for abducting his two daughters and intimidating his ex-wife.
According to media reports, Princess Latifa took the help of her fitness trainer and friend Tiina Jauhiainen and planned the escape which is being dubbed as a plot from a movie. Latifa met Jauhiainen, a Finnish national, in late 2010 and started receiving training in capoeira, a martial art form.
After several years, Latifa told friend-trainer about her earlier failed attempt to escape Dubai and had to spend three and a half years in prison. She asked Jauhiainen to contact former French naval officer and spy Herve Jaubert who had written the book Escape from Dubai. Jauhiainen went to the Philippines to meet Jaubert and the three started to plot the escape.
Latifa and Jauhiainen frequently met at a Dubai mall to plan the escape and took precautions like switching off mobile phones and regularly changing email addresses to keep themselves off the radar. On Feb 24, 2018, Latifa’s driver dropped her off at a cafe in downtown Dubai where the duo had been meeting over breakfast regularly. The 34-year-old changed her clothes in the cafe’s bathroom, dumped her mobile phone and drove to Muscat.
The pair then got in a dinghy to reach international water where they got onto jet skis and boarded the US-flagged boat Nostromo. According to Jauhiainen’s testimony, they were headed for Goa with a hope to travel to the United States from there and seek asylum. However, they were allegedly caught by Indian coast guards and Latifa was taken off the boat by an Emirati officer. Judge Andrew McFarlane called Jauhiainen a “wholly impressive individual” and regarded the evidence provided by the Finnish woman as being of singular importance.
(With inputs from agencies)