This story could be the stuff of weirdest Hollywood thrillers, but it seems to be true and unfolding right now.
A princess, a former French spy, and a Finnish Woman are on board Nostromo, a US registered luxury yacht in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The yacht is getting close to Goa, India. The princess contacts an NGO in London and asks for help. She says she is Sheikha Latifa Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai the middle daughter of the ruler of Dubai, “I am the one skydiving, not to be mixed with the other two daughters, both also called Latifa!”
In a Video sent to Radha Stirling, the CEO of Detained in Dubai, she says she could not cope with all the restrictions imposed on her by her family and is escaping the “Golden cage” she lived in. Her aim is to get to India, take a flight to the United States and seek asylum. Helping her in her escape are a former French intelligent officer, Hervé Jaubert, and a friend, who later is confirmed to be a Finnish woman.
Since the first contact, the trio maintains frequent communication with Radha, until on Sunday the 4th of March 2018, when the story takes an even more thrilling turn. Hervé informs Detained in Dubai, that they were within 50 miles of Indian shore as of 11:00 GMT, with the plan to disembark and fly to the US from Mumbai. Seven hours later, a distress call is made from Sheikha Latifa to Radha Stirling. Latifa tells Radha that she was hiding with her friend, that men were outside, that she didn’t know what was happening and that she was “hearing gunshots”. Then contact with the trio ceases immediately and permanently. This was two weeks ago and there is no trace of the three and the yacht since.
Detained in Dubai knew that in addition to Hervé, there was a third person; a friend on board the yacht, but her identity was unknown until today. It turned out the person in question is a 41-year-old Finnish woman called Tiina Johanna Jauhiainen who has now been reported missing by her family. All three have been officially reported as missing in France, the UK, the USA, India, Finland and the UAE.
According to the Jauhianen family, who has released a statement through Detained in Dubai, Tiina was a close friend of Sheikha Latifa Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai, known for her skydiving, a sport that Tiina was also passionate about and they had bonded over the years, becoming close confidants.
Sheikha Latifa had confided in Tiina that she had been imprisoned and abused as a result of a prior escape attempt and, since her release, was working on a plan to flee the country. Tiina had in turn, told her family of the situation and Latifa’s ideas to leave the country. The two friends found public figure and French ex-secret service agent Hervé Jaubert, who is famous for his book “Escape from Dubai”.
Tiina’s family was contacted by Tiina from the yacht and they maintained communication with her. The last time Tiina was seen online was a few minutes before the distress call was made from Latifa to Radha.
“We have a US flagged yacht that has disappeared, a US/French national, a Finnish national and the daughter of the ruler of Dubai missing after reporting gunfire. We now have the daughter of the ruler of a country making serious allegations of criminal actions against her father.” States Radha Stirling of Detained in Dubai. “The UAE has such strong commercial, trade, media and diplomatic ties, that this incident is likely to have a snowballing effect on the political and economic stability.”
So far, Authorities in UAE, Finland, and France have been silent.
Social media users are using hashtags #FindLatifa #FindHervé #WhereisLatifa? #WhereisHervé? #EscapefromDubai#WhereisNostromo? to source information and raise awareness. #WhereisTiina?
“Tiina left our small town for the world, first to London in 1997, later settling in Dubai. She had always wanted to see the world, and she cares very little for material wealth or possessions.” Says Tiina’s brother Oku Jauhiainen in the family’s statement released today. “Since 2001, Tiina has lived in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, working mainly in real estate and fitness industries. In mid-2000s Tiina became an avid enthusiast of capoeira, a Brazilian martial art. In 2010 the sport also connected Tiina with Sheikha Latifa Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai when Tiina became her instructor and personal trainer. They became close friends, with a particular passion for skydiving. Sheikha Latifa referred to Tiina as “my angel” and “the only person I can talk to about anything”.
Jauhiainen’s family’s last contact with Tiina was on Saturday 3rd of March. They were contacted by a friend the next day and heard about the possible raid on the yacht. The family contacted the Finnish Police and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and filed a missing persons report.
“We appeal to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as a father and to the Crown prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as a brother, like us, to investigate this matter urgently, to contact Detained in Dubai and to make a public statement,” says Oku.
Since the incident, parties who had known the missing persons have confirmed their identity and last known location. Close friends have confirmed that the woman in the video is indeed Sheikha Latifa who explained that there are three Sheikha Latifa’s and that she was the middle one known for skydiving, with the Instagram account latifa_1.
It has been reported to Escape from Dubai that UAE authorities have “rounded up at least ten people who were known to be in communication with Tiina after the duo went missing in late February”. Detained in Dubai is seeking further information on those who may currently be in CID custody.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland have confirmed to Detained in Dubai, that they are seeking any information that may assist their investigation and that the Finnish Embassy in Abu Dhabi is following the case.
Detained in Dubai is a UK based NGO specializing in helping foreigners who are detained in Dubai. Escape from Dubai was founded in response to this incident to act as a central information point.
Helsinki Times could not independently confirm the authenticity of the video and the facts surrounding these events and is quoting statements from Detained in Dubai and the Jauhiainen Family which were published through detained in Dubai.