Middle Eastern authorities in Oman who detained Chloe Collins, 23, are demanding the return of her younger brother in exchange for her. Her brother is suspected of being involved in a murder there.
Collins, who hails from Kraaifontein in Cape Town and arrived in Oman in April to pursue a career in the hospitality industry, was arrested shortly after her brother, who is a diagnosed schizophrenic, returned home after working there.
Family lawyer Simone Carolissen said: “Chloe has been held in police custody since May 9, 2019.
“She has been interrogated in a foreign language without legal representation for many hours.
“The right to a fair trial and access to justice are not assured.
“Oman authorities arrested Chloe in the wake of investigations and are now demanding his return in exchange for her.”
Carolissen said Collins’ family was frantic with worry and feelings of helplessness and despair as they have no means to pay for a lawyer in Oman.
“What could be ascertained, is that Chloe’s brother, diagnosed with schizophrenia and currently receiving treatment, is suspected of the potential involvement in a crime in the country before returning to South Africa.
“He has not been charged with any crime.”
Carolissen said the details of the case against Collins were unclear but she had no legal representation in Oman and the family had no access to the formal charges or police dockets.
She said after writing a letter to the department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco), the South African Embassy in Muscat, Oman had visited Collins, and she was doing fine.
Dirco spokesperson Clayson Monyela said the Oman government had informed the South African Embassy of Collins’ detention.
“I am positive that going forward this matter will be resolved.
“We are very grateful to the South Africa Embassy for visiting her and for the chocolates they brought, which lifted her spirits,” said Carolissen.
She said the Collins family were faced with a challenge of high legal fees in Oman and believed that their daughter was wrongfully detained.
“We believe without diplomatic or government intervention, Chloe may be detained for a very long time,” said Carolissen.