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Dubai’s “lost princess” Latifa narrates ‘Indian’ angle in her capture

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

London: The daughter of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Princess Latifa, has for the first time in three years become vocal about her capture by Indian special forces on a boat off the coast of India and how despite of her agitated screaming that she was seeking political asylum, she was tranquilised and carried onto a private jet.

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In the first video footage seen of Latifa since she was sent back to Dubai, the 35-year-old described how on March 4, 2018, around 12 to 15 commandos of Indian special forces and two Emirati sergeants came on board her yacht and one injected her with what she believes were tranquilisers.

The Indian government, however, has never commented on its involvement in her capture. Whereas, the UN on Wednesday said it would raise the developments with the UAE.

Describing the incident, Latifa’s Finnish friend Tina Jauhiainen, who was also present on the yacht, on Tuesday revealed how they were both asleep when they heard noises on the upper deck which sounded like gunshots.

“The boat was taken over by Indian special forces. Latifa was lying on the floor and her hands were tied behind her back and she kept repeating ‘I am seeking political asylum’ but they were not listening,” said Jauhiainen.

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Later, Latifa was taken to an Indian military ship, what she herself claims.

“The commandos carried me to a big room where there were four or five generals. I repeated that I want to get asylum and don’t want to go to Dubai. Then I saw a private jet,” said Latifa adding that next an Emirati commando picked her up as she was kicking, so she bit him but another man tranquilised her again.

“They put me on a stretcher and I passed out as they carried me onto the jet. When I woke up, I found the jet had landed in Dubai. I have been in solitary confinement ever since without medical access,” she said.

A year later, her friend Jauhiainen managed to get her a phone and Latifa started to make videos locked in the bathroom in a Dubai villa where, she claims, she was held hostage, guarded by police officers.

But what alarmed Jauhiainen was her messages sent to LAtifa several months ago which not received yet. Following this she released the videos to BCC’s Panorama.

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In one of these videos, Latifa explains how she was tricked by her stepmother, Princess Haya, to meet Mary Robinson, a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, when the UN was investigating her disappearance.

She said Haya had told her that if she acted well at the lunch, she would be released soon. “I was never told Mary Robinson was the former UN human rights commissioner. Had I known, I would have said everything to her,” she said.

The photos of that lunch were released by the UAE to prove princess Latifa was fine while the same was also confirmed by Robinson in his media interviews. Robinson on Panorama claims she was misled.

As per reports, back in the villa, nothing changed for Latifa and she was locked once again in her “prison”, with no new clothes or medical access, not even a toothbrush.

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