UPDATE: A Dubai princess who had reportedly gone missing after trying to flee the United Arab Emirates has been “brought back”, according to new reports
“What I can confirm is they took her and she was brought back,” said an anonymous source close to the Emirati government.
Details have not been released as to the exact location of the princess but it has emerged she is “with her family” and “doing excellent."
A former French spy has alleged the daughter of Dubai's ruler has gone missing after she tried and failed to escape the United Arab Emirates.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Herve Jaubert said the current whereabouts of Mohammed Al Maktoum's daughter, Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, are unknown.
Jaubert claims he helped her flee the country in February.
However, they were caught and commandos "dragged her away, kicking and screaming," added the former agent with French DGSE spy agency.
That was the last time she was seen in public.
“I know it sounds incredible,” Jaubert told the AP, but “it’s just the facts.”
Earlier, in an interview to British tabloid Mail Online, he explained how the escape was planned with the help of Latifa's fitness instructor and friend, Tiina Jauhiainen, a Finnish martial artist.
According to Jaubert and the U.K.-based NGO Detained in Dubai (DID), Latifa wanted to escape because she was facing abuse and restrictions.
DID states on its website a woman contacted the group in late February, claiming to be Latifa: "She stated that she had suffered severe abuse and restrictions on her freedom, and that she intended to escape the country."
The original plan, according to Jaubert, was for Latifa to apply for political asylum in the United States. However, before that, she had to leave Dubai, which she did, with Jauhiainen's help. They allegedly left the city by car and drove to the coast bordering with Oman, where Jaubert was waiting to pick them up and sail to Goa, India, on his yacht.
But they never made it to India. As per DID, a military raid, consisting of "five warships, two planes and a helicopter," intercepted Jaubert's yacht in the Arabia Sea and the three people were taken into custody.
"They dragged her [Latifa] away as I heard her say, ‘I won’t go back to the UAE, just kill me now;' I haven’t seen my friend Latifa since,” Jauhiainen told DID.
While Latifa was taken to an unknown location, Jaubert and Jauhiainen claim they were taken to the Al Razeen prison, which is notorious for abuse against inmates. There, they were accused of kidnapping the member of the Emirati royal family.
But the pair was let go after the story of Latifa's botched escape made international headlines, according to Mail Online. Jaubert was taken back to his yacht and Jauhiainen was sent to London.
There's also a 40-minute video available on YouTube in which a woman, who claims to be Latifa, provides details about her identification in case her escape attempt went awry, which it did.
Sheikh Mohammed has at least 30 children from six wives. The AP reports he has multiple daughters named Latifa, which has made matters a little more complicated in the case of the missing daughter.
There is little to almost no information about Latifa in local UAE press. Meanwhile, DID has called on the Emirati government to release information about the missing woman's whereabouts.