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Soap Box: Keeping it in the family

By Charlie Charalambous

Two weeks ago, a little girl went missing after she was taken from her mother in broad daylight in front of a Nicosia nursery.

Apparently she is doing fine and with her Norwegian dad.

This is a relief because if the four-year-old was in any real danger, then I wouldn’t put money on our police saving her.

Marie appears to be at the centre of a bitter custody battle between her Norwegian father and Greek Cypriot mother – and like many cases of this kind, each parent has a story to tell.

Nevertheless, it is always the children that suffer, no matter who is right or wrong when it comes to deciding on custody.

Every lawyer will tell a different story to make the other side look bad, and when the going gets tough, the mum or dad can simply run off with the kid to another country.

MPs heard recently that Cyprus twiddles its thumbs when it comes to foreign fathers scampering off to the Middle East where the law can become a bit fuzzy.

Fathers can become desperate, especially when they are denied access to their children. But going to war with the mother is going to impact on the hapless kids.

When it comes to couples splitting up, inadvertently kids are used as ‘spoils of war’ or the ‘secret weapon’ in any domestic dispute.

Certainly there is a back story to the abduction of Marie-Eleni, but this doesn’t cloud the fact that a child has been unlawfully taken and living life on the run.

Well, most probably, not on the run, because I’m not sure the police are in hot pursuit.

Local cops have no real leads and most of their suspects have been released without charge.

If they do crack the case, it will definitely be by luck and not design as at the moment they are whistling in the dark.

Maybe they are not taking the case seriously enough, believing it to be a routine custody case, or they simply lack the expertise in such matters.

Whatever the reasons, it doesn’t look good that police have been unable to track down the dad and his daughter in their own backyard.

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One comment

  1. This is why I am trying to set up an organisation, funded by the general public, to bring Children in the same situation as Marie back home. the resources and expertise the Police have in cases like this are limited. This case falls under The Hague Convention for International Parental abduction, however, these cases can go on for years and even if The Hague orders the child to be returned it is rarely listened to by the abductor.

    I have been working in Child recovery for the last 4 years and I have a reputable reputation in the industry. I have seen companies take every penny from parents who are the victims in cases such as this offering no guarantees of bringing their children back home.

    I aim to raise the funds from the local population and government if possible, to fund an operation to bring children who are victims of Parental child abduction. If we can raise the money, I aim to be able to give the parents that we return the child to a substantial amount to help them return to a normal life and recover from the ordeal that they are currently going through, and should it come to the point, after staging the first stage of an operation that the child cannot be recovered, I aim to pay the parents the money to get them through the length duration of the court process.

    This is not a scam or a get rich quick scheme. I am doing this because I have seen the devastation that can be left in the wake of these current companies out there and I aim to turn that around by helping people rather than letting these jokeshop bullies get away with illegal kidnappings.

    Please help me spread the word.