Southsea mum pleads for safe return of her children

GONE Aisha, left, and Faris Al-Barwani with their mother Lacey Plato, and inset, the children's father Usama Al-Barwani
GONE Aisha, left, and Faris Al-Barwani with their mother Lacey Plato, and inset, the children's father Usama Al-Barwani
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A MOTHER has pleaded with her ex-husband to bring their young children home after claiming he has taken them out of the country without her consent.

Lacey Plato, of Outram Way, Southsea, told The News she was last in touch with her children, seven-year-old Aisha Al-Barwani and Faris Al-Barwani, four, while they were with their father Usama Al-Barwani on Saturday.

Usama Al Barwani

Usama Al Barwani

She said Mr Al-Barwani had flown in from Dubai for a two-week visit to see his children and took them to the fair in Southsea on Saturday.

But she fears he has taken them to the Gulf state of Dubai, where the family used to live, or Oman.

Police say they have contacted international policing agencies over the disappearance but say there is no reason to believe the children are in immediate danger.

Miss Plato, 29, said she tried contacting her ex and the children later on Saturday but all attempts failed.

She claims Mr Al-Barwani got in touch with her on Sunday to tell her they were ‘fine’ and ‘on vacation’.

Her father Steve Grant has flown out to the United Arab Emirates in an attempt to track the family down, while members of Mr Al-Barwani’s family have ‘not been co-operative’, according to Miss Plato.

She said: ‘I am concerned for their welfare. We have got in contact with one member of his family, who say they are in the Middle East but they will not give me the exact information of where they are.

‘The police are doing all they can do. I think he’s doing it to scare me.’

Miss Plato said she met her ex-husband in the UK, where he lived for 13 years, before jetting to Dubai as a family. They lived in a residential area of Dubai called Mirdiff, and Mr Al-Barwani now lives in the suburb of Al Rashidiya. He stayed in Dubai when Miss Plato returned to the UK with the children.

She has contacted the police and the Foreign Office with her concerns, but has not yet been in touch with the Dubai authorities.

‘For me it’s getting the issue out there for anyone who knows anything and showing the seriousness of it’, she added.

‘This needs to be taken seriously.’

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said the department will not comment on cases involving minors.

Det Insp Christopher Parry, of Portsmouth CID, said: ‘Detectives are investigating the disappearance of two children and their father after they did not return as planned to an address in Southsea.

‘We are pursuing several lines of inquiry to confirm the location of the children and their father as soon as possible.

‘Our focus is on ensuring the missing children are safe and well.

‘Hampshire Constabulary has established contacts with international policing agencies, which can assist in gathering information on the whereabouts of the children when there is evidence to confirm they have been taken abroad without the mother’s permission.

‘There is nothing to suggest these children are in immediate danger or that there is a risk to anyone else from these events.’

Anyone with information should call police on 101.