The US The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) played a key role in thwarting Princess Latifa’s attempt to escape from the oppression of the Dubai ruler in 2018, according to a USA TODAY investigation.
Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum – also known as Princess Latifa – was running away from her father, the ruler of Dubai, when her escape was thwarted following a raid on her yacht in 2018 on the Indian Ocean, according to reports.
It remained a mystery for three years how had Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum located his daughter. But now the USA TODAY investigation has found that the FBI played an important role in the operation.
Princess Latifa, then 32,had been at sea for eight days in March 2018, when her US-registered yacht Nostromo was raided by armed men. They bound her wrists and dragged her off the boat.
The armed men were sent by the princess's oppressive father, the billionaire prime minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and ruler of the Emirate of Dubai.
According to the USA TODAY investigation, the FBI helped locate the princess following an urgent plea from Sheikh Mohammed's office.
Sources told the newspaper that they believe the premier US agency was misled about her circumstances aboard the yacht as the Dubai ruler claimed the princess had been kidnapped and needed emergency aid to secure her release, according to several people familiar with the FBI's role in the operation.
FBI agents obtained geolocation data from the yacht's internet provider and supplied it to Dubai officials.
Sheikh Mohammed declined to comment through legal representatives, but he has insisted in court records that he rescued the princess.
The FBI, the White House and State Department also declined to comment on the USA TODAY investigation.
A source close to the Dubai government confirmed in April 2018 that the princess had been “brought back” to Dubai.
Fearing for the safety of the young princess, Latifa’s friends and human rights groups urged the UAE to reveal her whereabouts.The UAE government then released pictures of Sheikha Latifa.