Princess Sheikha Latifa, the alleged captive daughter of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has urged the British police in a letter to re-investigate the alleged abduction of her older sister from a Cambridge street more than two decades ago.
The BBC said in a report Thursday that in a letter shared with the British broadcaster, Latifa has said the UK police might be able to free Princess Shamsa, who was kidnapped on the alleged orders of her father when she was almost 19.
“Your help and attention on her case could free her,” Princess Latifa reportedly said in the letter, which was written in 2019 but was passed to Cambridgeshire police on Wednesday.
In August 2000 and about two months after fleeing her father's Longcross Estate in Surrey and during the family’s annual UK holiday, Shamsa, who is now almost 39, was forcibly taken from Cambridge, flown by a helicopter to France and then by a private jet back to Dubai, and has not been seen in public since.
Princess Latifa herself drew international attention in 2018 when she announced in a video that she was fleeing the UAE because of mistreatment and restrictions imposed by her family.
However, she was forcefully returned to Dubai after being captured by commandos on a boat in the Indian Ocean. Ever since she has remained in Dubai. Her father claimed he was acting in Latifa’s best interests. The royal family said previously that the princess was safe in the care of the family.
On Sunday, the United Nations asked the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for proof that Latifa was alive, days after she said in secretly recorded messages that: “I’m a hostage. I am not free. I’m enslaved in this jail. My life is not in my hands.”
A year after Princess Shamsa’s abduction, Cambridgeshire police opened an investigation into the kidnapping but “the investigation eventually hit a dead end when officers were blocked from going to Dubai.”
The BBC cited a statement by the police as saying that they reviewed the investigation once in 2018 and again in 2020 and that the new letter “will be looked at as part of the ongoing review.”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has denied all the charges against him, saying his daughter Latifa was kidnapped for ransom in 2018, and she was returned to Dubai after a successful rescue operation. He insists she is now safe and in perfect health.