Vijaya Laxmi Tripura
After months of silence, captain of a yacht named Nostromo, which was intercepted near India by a joint naval team of India and United Arab Emirates has issued a ‘Press Statement’ on August 29, 2019 claiming Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have violated international laws and committed crimes, which are punishable under the prevailing laws in the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Hervé Jaubert, who is a former French spy was helping Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (known in the international media as Princess Latifa), one of the daughters of Sheikh Maktoum in fleeing Dubai in 2018 through a yacht. According to Mr. Hervé, the yacht was attacked on March 4, 2018 by an India – UAE joint naval forces and he was abducted from the yacht along with the crew members.
In the ‘Press Statement’ Hervé Jaubert wrote: “Years before fleeing Dubai, Princess Latifa contacted me by email after she downloaded my book titled ‘Escape from Dubai’. She told me the horrific ordeals and persecution she and other female members of the UAE royal family were subjected to. This has convinced me to accept her request for help to flee Dubai as I saw the treatment of the female members of the UAE royal family was reminiscent to the medieval ages with its inhuman and barbaric treatment of people behind closed doors in the emir palaces.
“The yacht was actively pursued by Indian Coast Guard’s warships and spy planes, I identified one as SAR CG 782 on March 2, 2018. Three India Coast Guards ships were spotted on radar by Nostromo‘s crew, surrounding us 6 miles apart. On the day of the attack, the yacht was scouted by another spy plane who tried to jam my communication systems. Two of the Indian vessels were later identified as ICGS Shoor and ICGS Samarth. The two coast guards vessels had a huge marking on the side of the hull, which read “Indian coast guards” and one had an ID number 11 painted on the side.
After 10 PM, two unmarked speedboats carrying fifteen armed personnel in full military gear and Tavor assault rifles were launched from these ships to storm Nostromo. The raid began with stun grenades to disorient and incapacitate the passengers and the crew. We were tied up and then beaten up without mercy. After being taken over by Indian Coast Guard, the yacht was boarded by at least ten Emirati special forces personnel who arrived by helicopter. Princess Latifa, despite claiming asylum to Indian personnel and expressing a clear unwillingness to go back to the UAE from where she was fleeing, was forcibly taken away onto one of the helicopters. Nostromo and the rest of the crew were escorted by Indian Coast Guards and then transferred to the UAE warship Baynunah. to be taken to a naval base in Fujairah 1300 miles away.
“The attack of Nostromo in international waters was a blatant violation of Maritime laws and international agreements. It was learnt that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates had personally phoned Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and sought his help in instructing the Indian naval forces to cooperate with the UAE forces to attack Nostromo and forcibly send Sheikha Latifa back to Dubai along with the captain of the yacht [ me.. Hervé Jaubert ] as well as the crew members and one of the female companions of Princess Latifa, a Finnish woman named Tiina Jauhiainen.
“In total, a naval force of at least 500 men, with at least three Indian and two Emirati warships, two military planes, two high-speed boats, and two helicopters were involved in this illegal attack on Nostromo, about 50 miles off the coast of Goa.
“National Security Advisor John Bolton speaking on Iran said the U.S. has “made it particularly clear that if American citizens or facilities are threatened or attacked, that there will be a very strong response.” Well…India and the UAE did attack a US Vessel and an American citizen. What is the response? India and the UAE have an increasing belligerent attitude in the region, if left unsanctioned it can only bolster their complete disregard of international laws and make them believe they can get away with attacking other ships.
As the Indian – Emirati joint forces attacked the yacht at gunpoint, they took control of the boat and started torturing me along with other crews. They also had brutally grabbed Princess Latifa, while they did not touch Tiina Jauhiainen.
“Due to severe beating I was bleeding from the head, one of the members of the Indian – Emirati team in mask shouted that the Dubai ruler had instructed them to kill me and throw my body in the ocean.
“Later, me, my crew members and Tiina Jauhiainen were forcibly taken to Dubai. They locked us up into isolated cells. We were interrogated and constantly threatened to be tortured and executed. I had no idea of the fate of Princess Latifa.
“After ten days of keeping us in captivity and under continuous mental torture, the Dubai authorities released me along with my crews and led us to Nostromo. We sailed to Sri Lanka in fear the UAE would blow up the boat to destroy evidence and eliminate witnesses. After arriving in Sri Lanka, we were told that we were banned from Sri Lanka and not allowed to ever come back, forcing me to leave the boat unattended. I left the yacht and flew to London on April 6, 2018 while the crewmen flew to the Philippines.
Since the attack, I lost my business and livelihood and my Filipino crewmen were left jobless. We have been passing through acute financial hardship while there are still fear of various forms of intimidations and persecution from the wealthy ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
I have become increasingly worried of Latifa’s fate after one of the wives of Sheikh Mohammed Maktoum, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein fled Dubai and sought asylum in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile we are getting alarming information about the fate of Maktoum’s daughters namely Sheikha Latifa and Sheikha Shamsa. Some of the news media, quoting “credible sources” are claiming Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to have been killed last February with no comments or proof of life from the UAE authorities.
“I am appealing to the international community, the United Nations and rights groups to call for a proof of life of Princesses Shamsa and Latifa. I am calling the authorities of the United States to investigate the illegal attack of a US – flag yacht in international waters”.
When contacted, Hervé Jaubert said, he was already discussing with an internationally known attorney for filing a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Narendra Modi for “violating international law and attacking a US-flag carrier vessel in the international maritime boundary.
He further said, he and other crew members of Nostromo currently are going through acute financial crisis as the yacht was their only source of income.
Hervé Jaubert has earlier written a book titled ‘Escape From Dubai’ while his next book exposing “series of secrets” about the royal families in the United Arab Emirates will be published by this year.