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Pregnant Dubai expat goes missing while holidaying in Maldives

anjana@khaleejtimes.com Filed on February 23, 2021 | Last updated on February 24, 2021 at 08.00 am

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Husband offers $100,000 reward for help in finding her.

A Dubai resident whose pregnant wife mysteriously went missing at a five-star resort in Maldives last week is pleading for help to find her and has offered a reward of $100,000 to anyone who can give vital information.

Parmar Gursharanjit Singh and his wife Giedre Vaskyte, 33, were on a holiday at Intercontinental Resort on Maamunagau Island when she disappeared without a trace in the afternoon of February 13. Vaskyte, a Canadian citizen, was eight months pregnant and was due to deliver in March.

“We were relaxing at the pool together and, at around 3.30pm, she said she is going for a quick swim in the sea. Never did I imagine that was the beginning of a horrific tragedy,” Singh, who has businesses in Dubai and Canada, told Khaleej Times.

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“It has been more than nine days and local authorities have not been able to give us any answers. Now, they have stopped searching for her. I don’t know whether she drowned or got kidnapped or someone harmed her. I need answers,” said the distressed husband.

On February 12, the couple flew to Maldives, a hugely popular holiday destination among tourists as the island and its relaxed quarantine protocol offers a safe escape from the raging pandemic. But the beach holiday turned tragic in no time when Singh could not find his wife anywhere near the five-star resort.

“I had gone back to our pool-side villa and slipped into a nap. When I woke up at around 6.30pm, she was not around. I called the hotel reception asking for her and no one had seen her,” said Singh.

Panic set in and Singh alerted the resort management, and a search began for Vaskyte.

Singh said he filed a missing person complaint at the R. Meedhoo police station in Maldives the next day. But despite a week-long search by police, coastal guards and hotel staff, there was still no trace of Vaskyte.

Maldives police suspect the woman drowned in the sea. “We have strong evidence to believe she was lost in sea while trying to snorkel near the beach. We do not have any hint to think otherwise,” Police Chief Station Inspector Aslam Mohamed told Khaleej Times.

He said the Coast Guard of MNDF (Maldives National Defence Force) started a search and rescue operation right at the moment the case was reported and had searched “nonstop for five days” including aerial search, surface search and diving.

The officer said that though the case is still open, no progress has been made since the tourist hasn’t been found in the search operation. “No new evidence has surfaced. But we hope we could still find her safe and sound, although the probability gets lesser every day,” he added.

Confirming the incident, Maldives Intercon said they are working closely with the authorities and are doing everything to support the guest’s family.

A devastated Singh and their family believe authorities should dive deeper to find the truth about Vaskyte’s disappearance.

“She is a strong swimmer and a renowned athlete. It is impossible for her to drown in the shallow waters of Maldives. And even if she did, the body should up in a few days?” Uday Singh, a close family friend told Khaleej Times.

“This is devastating. She is fully pregnant. We believe that she got abducted by the piratesorgot kidnaped, which is common in Maldives. That is why we are putting a reward of $100,000 for anyone who can give information about her or help us find her,” said Singh.

anjana@khaleejtimes.com

author

Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist chasing global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported from the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has extensively written on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From interviewing Daesh militants to embedding with the UAE army in Yemen, and covering earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has come out scathe-free from the most dangerous conflict zones of the world. Riding on over 14 years of experience, Anjana currently is an Assistant Editor with Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often speaks about women empowerment on her Facebook page that has 40,000 plus followers.





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