Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Ever since this newspaper has been publishing reports on Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, hundreds and thousands of people are reading Blitz while many are contacting us with scoops and information on the UAE royals. We also are receiving information on Princess Haya’s secret bank accounts as well as corruption and illegal activities, including secrets on her private life, which we shall be gradually publishing.
In this exclusive interview, French spy Hervé Jaubert, who helped Sheikha Latifa in fleeing last year, has given lots of important information on the case of Latifa as well as Princess Haya and the UAE royals. We also are going to interview Tiina Jauhiainen soon.
Here are the excerpts from the very lengthy interview Hervé Jaubert:
Q: According to media reports, you and Tiina Jauhiainen, a Finnish trainer of Afro-Brazilian martial art of capoeira had accompanied Sheikha Latifa in the yacht when she was fleeing Dubai. How did you meet Tiina Jauhiainen?
A: Latifa had hired Tiina years ago against full-time salary. It was not just out of friendship. Latifa needed a friend she could rely on to get things she could not get without being turned in to her father. When Latifa was ready to escape she asked me to meet Tiina to evaluate if she could assist Latifa to escape. I agreed. I trained Tiina. Latifa was always considerate, she always made sure whoever was going to help her was not taking risks. She chose Tiina because she had no attaches in Dubai, no links, no assets, no family. It was easy for Tiina to leave for good. I met her in the Philippines. I told her the plan – and explained her about the dangers. Anyway, she volunteered.
Tiina drove Latifa across the border – she took a huge risk, and she did it without hesitation. I commend her for that, however, the “best friend” narrative is false. Tiina got handsomely paid for her help including a $150k apartment in Spain. I advised Latifa against it because we were going to the US, so she did not need an apartment in Europe. Tiina knew Latifa since 2008, but she was told about Latifa’s escape project only six months before the escape.
Q: From newspaper reports, it is understood that Sheikha Latifa was heavily guarded by their Filipino maids. Under such circumstances, how and when did you first meet her?
A: I sent my agents to meet her, I could not go myself. I arranged secret meetings over the years, under extreme scrutiny, counter surveillance gave the threat and the level of her father’s security detail. I taught her how to evade surveillance and misdirect her chaperones and guards. It is also why Latifa had Tiina hired by her father’s office. Tiina became an official chaperone. This is why she was viewed in prison as a traitor. For Dubai officials and Sheikh Mohammed, she took advantage of her position, which is true, and this is why Latifa was extremely smart to make that decision to hire Tiina, very smart, she hired a chaperone she could use.
Tiina made it look like a friendship, of course it is, a little, but Latifa had her hired because she needed a chaperone on her side. On the other end, they viewed me as professional who was hired for a job, they did not like what I did, helping Latifa, and they probably want me dead, but they did not see me as a traitor.
Q: Some newspapers referred you as a self-proclaimed French spy. Would you say anything about this, and how such perceptions grew into the minds of the media?
A: I have already documented in a court of law that I am indeed an authentic former operative of the French counter-espionage. It is a French reporter who exposed me the first time back in 2005. It was not me who boasted this background. It was in the media and people’s mind; Spies don’t say they are spies. Hence the confusion and wrong assumption, a French reporter exposed my background. Not me. Not only I have letters of commendation to prove it, but to be realistic if anyone claimed to be a former spy and it was not true, it would not take more than two weeks to have the service blast him off or take him to court.
Q: Within a few days of setting sail on the Indian Ocean in your yacht, bound for India and then the United States, the Sheikha went silent. She has not been seen since, except in a few photos released in December 2018 by her family, which says she is safely home after surviving what they said was a kidnapping. Would you please tell us what had happened when Sheikha Latifa was taken back from the yacht? Did they abuse her?
A: I have no information to what happened to her after she was abducted, but when I saw her pictures blast December, I can say that she gained weight which was an indication that she had no physical activity, hence that she was locked up, she looked pale, which meant no sun exposure, not as she used to be, she also looked phased out, she did not look like the woman I had been talking to for 8 years.
Q: Who had taken Sheikh Latifa from your yacht?
A: Absolute identification by five of us on the boat. It was the Indian Coast Guards, then UAE soldiers came on board to take her out in a helicopter. She was screaming and calling for political asylum.
Now think of this, an American yacht is attacked by India and UAE military forces, highjacked, towed over 1300 miles to the UAE, six people are kidnapped, one is missing – it never happened in a hundred years, and there is no investigation, no protest, no diplomatic raw! Why? I can tell you if it was Iran who had attacked a US vessel, the US would have bombed IRAN the hell out.
Q: Have you or Tiina Jauhiainen been assaulted by those Indian and UAE personnel when they were taking Sheikh Latifa?
A: One of the commandoes grabbed me by the neck from behind. I did not see him coming, in a reflex move, I spun around, hit him twice on his face and throat, grabbed his gun put it under his chin. Then I don’t remember a thing, blacked out, found myself later on the floor, all swollen, in a pool of blood. I initially thought it was the blood of the guy I had punched. But the crew told me it was my blood, 2 pints. I knew it was a stupid move, a mistake that could have us all killed, then they beat me up for 45 minutes. I was going in and out of consciousness, a very confusing situation. I could hear but could not see. They beat me to a pulp, later the coast guards sent a doctor to take care of the Indians and the guy I had punched. I had a severe head injury, he did not even look at me, I must have been hit on the back of the head, to knock me off when I grabbed the commando. My crew was brutalized, kicked, beaten. Tiina was roughed up but not beaten. Latifa was assaulted and dragged off because she resisted the hell out.
Q: As they arrested Tiina Jauhiainen, why they hadn’t also taken you?
A: They arrested all of us, but I was dizzy, because of the head injury. They kept me two days in handcuff. I was the only one in handcuff. I did not eat. They brought a bottle of water to my lips. I was kept in handcuff for at least two days. Then they brought us all to a prison somewhere in Dubai, separately
Q: In your understanding, how did the Indian and UAE authorities come to know about Sheikha Latifa being in your yacht?
A: Latifa had sent a message, email to her sister, telling them she was gone, never to return. I had instructed Latifa to leave her phone behind in Dubai as a decoy. She was using a different phone with a foreign SIM. I was using a proxy and a satellite connection. It is impossible to triangulate a satcom in the middle of the ocean. My IP indicated a location somewhere in Nebraska. I was on radio silence and my identification beacon was off. The Indian coast guards did NOT find us, they were given our position.
Q: Why you were going to India en route to the United States knowing well that India is a great friend of UAE?
A: Latifa had a valid passport under a different name, that nobody knew, nobody, just me and Latifa. I had visas to India and the US for Latifa. We were all clear. I never expected that level of corruption that a government would order the attack of a private yacht in international waters. No matter how you put it, it was illegal. They knew Latifa had run away, not kidnapped, and when she screamed for political asylum, they ignored her. It means they were instructed to take her back, not to rescue her. They could not claim they thought it was a rescue, all protocols had been violated.
Q: You have personally seen Sheikha Latifa. Would you tell us something about her? Is she a proud woman as being a member of the royal family?
A: No, she is not proud to be a Maktoum, she despised her family, she was closed to only a few brothers and sisters, she hated her father, she had no feelings for her mother, her mother abandoned her when. She was six months old, she is a very intelligent woman, with determination, she knows what she wants. She is focused – she makes plans, she holds schedules, she is very serious about her projects. I was amazed by her motivation and her skills, scuba diving, sky diving, 1000 jumps, this is unusual and an indication of a very mentally stable woman.
Q: What was Sheikha Latifa’s plan if she could manage to reach the US?
A: Start a new life, settle in Florida, maybe visit other states, study at university, enjoy freedom, help other women in their bid to get away from the male guardianship. She never considered herself a Muslim. She wanted to live the western way where women make their own decisions. She complained all the time, that it was always somebody else in the family who was making decisions for her.
Q: You have personally met Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. What is your opinion about him?
A: I cannot express an opinion because I only exchanged a few words. I don’t know him, but the look in his eyes when he looked at me, at people, what I saw is pure evil, coldness, deep cold.
Q: Were there any romantic relations between you and Sheikha Latifa?
A: Never. I wanted to help her; I was close to her as if she was my sister
Q: Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein has accused you of being kidnapping Sheikha Latifa. In your opinion, why had she done this?
A: I believe she was instructed to parrot the official narrative. She did not know Latifa, she probably did not know her story. She was lied to until she realized Latifa’s story was true. It is inconceivable to me that a woman and mother could knowingly cover the tortures and kidnapping of a daughter, stepdaughter. When she realized that Latifa had escaped on her own volition, that she had not been kidnapped, that she was looking to start a new life, she got scared for herself and her children, that she /they could end up in the same prison someday, so she ran for her life.
Q: Princess Haya has fled Dubai and now is hiding in London. She has hearing into her divorce petition on July 30, 2019. Do you think, this hearing will take place? If not, then how the matter would be resolved?
A: There is no chance in a million years that Sheikh Mohamed will show up in court. The hearing will be postponed for some reason. The lawyers will find an excuse, but Sheikh Mohammed will not have his day in court. The secrets Princess Haya holds or Latifa testimony could put Sheikh Muhammed Maktoum in a world of troubles, he could even be removed from power and the country could plunge in an economic turmoil – with tourist and investor evasion.
Sheikh Mohammed is not going to let that happen. I believe Princess Haya is in danger of being kidnapped or disappeared, and the children returned to Dubai. Sheikh Mohammed did it at least twice, with Shamsa and Latifa. I saw it firsthand; Sheikh Mohamed ordered the criminal attack and the removal by force of an adult woman from a US territory, a US registered vessel.
Q: Is there any possibility that any of the members of the UAE royal family having connections with Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company, which is a notorious terrorist and transnational drugs trafficking network?
A: No idea
Q: In your opinion, what type of individual Princess Haya is?
A: I don’t know her, but the fact she ran away shows there is a major problem in the Maktoum family. Right now, probably all daughters are in lockdown.
Q: Do you think, Sheikha Shamsa, Sheikha Latifa and now Princess Haya cases would ultimately uncover the forbidden world of the UAE royals?
A: It is not going to happen.
Q: Do you face any threats of intimidation or even threat on your life just because you assisted Sheikha Latifa in fleeing Dubai?
A: Yes, I get threats on social media, they deleted them once I read them. They blame the scandals on me – Haya and Latifa scandals, that it all happened because I help Latifa escape. But Sheikh Mohammed did it to himself, he should have let her go. I am lucky to be alive though, I believe we were going to be executed. It was a logical solution, kill all the witnesses and sink the boat. When they checked my phone, at gunpoint, they realized I had reported already that we were followed by the Indian coast guards.
Other people knew what was going on, so whatever plans they had, they had to change. In the end, I lost everything, my boat, my livelihood, my business, my assets, and Latifa is gone. But it was not for nothing, her message got out, millions saw her video and read about her story, she is no a model for women who want to escape.
Q: In your opinion, why the Middle Eastern media, including Al Jazeera are silent on the Princess Haya issue?
A: They are controlled by the rulers, there is no freedom of expression in these news outlets. Also remember, at the source of this scandal is the Islamic male guardianship, that’s what these women are running from. Muslim countries do not want to see their women starting to request a little more freedom.
Q: In the current legal battle centring divorce, who will win finally – Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum or Princess Haya? Also, do you think, the British royals will involve in this sensitive matter?
A: Sheikh Mohammed will win, but not in court. A kidnap team will snatch them, they will disappear in a laundry van and taken to a private jet back to Dubai. It will be in the news for two weeks and everybody will forget about it. Look what happened with Jamal Kashogi, nothing!
Q: With a number of fleeing of the members of royal families in the Middle East, do you think, in reality, those female members are treated badly within those families?
A: When I first heard Latifa, I saw the demonstration that there is nothing more precious than freedom. I warned her, many times, and several times she told me she would rather be poor and free, than rich with a curfew, guards and no freedom. Even the money she had, she could not use it as she wished, she could not buy a car, or property, she could not have a bank account, which is a basic instrument of freedom.
Remember what the ruler statement said about Latifa, last December -“The ruler’s court further said that Latifa and her family were looking forward to celebrating her birthday this day, in privacy and peace, and to building a happy and stable future for her”.
They wanted “to build a stable future for her”. “For her”? How would women feel in our part of the world if anybody wanted to build “their future”? This is a stark reminder of just how much control they are exercising over women and that’s exactly what Latifa wanted to get away from.
Q: In your assessment, what is the fate of Sheikha Shamsa and Latifa?
A: They are either in chemical restraints, under psychotic drugs to render them docile and obedient, or they died already.