Tug-of-love mum fights on in hunt for children

Aishah & Faris Al Barwani with their mother Lacey Plato
Aishah & Faris Al Barwani with their mother Lacey Plato
Louis Makai. Picture: Sussex Police

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A DESPERATE mum caught up in a international fight over her children’s custody says she has no idea where they are.

Lacey Plato is in Oman with her dad, Steve Grant, in an attempt to track down her children – daughter Aisha Al-Barwani, seven, and son Faris, four.

The 29-year-old, of Outram Way in Southsea, says the children were taken to the Middle East by their father Usama Al-Barwani after he flew over to visit them in July, as previously reported in The News.

Miss Plato travelled to there earlier this month to find them and has now made a return trip to try to bring them home.

An appeal to make the children wards of court was passed by a judge at the High Court in London last week to aid her efforts.

Miss Plato and her father have visited her ex-husband’s relatives in Oman but she claims they have so far not been co-operative.

Speaking to The News from a hotel in Al-Khuwair, Miss Plato said the search had been a struggle and said she had been reported to the police for harassment by Mr Al-Barwani’s uncle.

She said: ‘The situation’s not great. We’ve arrived in Oman and went to a couple of houses that we know and have been before, but we didn’t get a good reception.

‘They told us they didn’t know where the children are.

‘We don’t know if they are in Oman or Dubai.

‘Now his uncle says he has reported me to the police saying I’m harassing the family and I have now got to find a police station in the middle of nowhere.

‘No one is willing to help.’

The News reported last week how Miss Plato found her children on her first trip to Oman earlier this month but claims she was told to leave by Mr Al-Barwani –who said the youngsters should be raised in an Islamic environment.

Miss Plato is due to be a bridesmaid at her brother Luke Baker’s wedding in the UK on Friday.

She said: ‘I’m risking everything out here. We cannot just be in Oman for a few weeks.

‘Financially it’s hard. I’ve no idea how long we will be out here. The children could be anywhere. Usama’s saying he will meet me in Oman but I have no idea where.’