Mother fears daughter kidnapped by her vengeful ex-boyfriend three years ago may have been sold in Pakistani child trafficking racket
Atiya Wilkinson was snatched by ‘cruel’ father three years ago
Gemma Wilkinson has no clue where her daughter is
Jailed father refuses to tell police where she is
Officers launch fresh appeal for information
By Sam Webb
PUBLISHED: 07:04, 6 November 2012 |
The distraught mother of a missing girl kidnapped three years ago wept yesterday as she told of fears she may have been sold on the black market in a child trafficking racket.
Former charity worker Gemma Wilkinson, 32, from Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, has not seen little Atiya Wilkinson since her third birthday in 2009 when she was snatched by her father in a spiteful act of revenge during a planned day trip to the seaside.
Former insurance salesman Razwan Ali Anjum, 28, who was livid at being spurned by Gemma, jetted off to his native Pakistan with Atiya before contacting her mother saying: ‘You’ll never see your daughter again.’
Despite a global inquiry spanning three countries, the youngster has not been heard of since and now it is feared she may have been sold by her father to another family living in Pakistan or Iran.
Anjum returned to the UK less than a fortnight after he flew out and is now serving a fourth consecutive jail term for contempt after defiantly refusing to reveal Atiya’s whereabouts – dismissing Gemma as ‘only a birth mother’.
Today on what would be Atiya’s six birthday Miss Wilkinson sobbed as she pleaded for information about what happened to her daughter.
‘I pray she’s okay but we don’t have any proof that she’s okay and no proof she is even still alive,’ she said. ‘It’s been discussed that she could have been sold, but I don’t want to believe it.
‘As far as I’m aware she hasn’t been with any family member so I can only assume she’s with strangers.
‘To know that she’s safe, to know that she’s being looked after, to know where she is. A child doesn’t disappear, doesn’t evaporate. A child is put somewhere and people know – and that information needs to be talked about.’
Gemma met Anjum in 2003 while they were on the same college course at Oldham Business Management School and Atiya was born on November 7, 2006.
But Gemma ended her on/off relationship with Anjum in 2008 due to him being possessive and controlling and he swore revenge on her.
During an access visit on the youngster’s birthday he said he was taking Atiya to Southport but instead, he took her to Lahore where he claimed she was staying for a week with relatives.
Adorable: Atiya before she was abducted. Police believe she may be being hidden in Pakistan
Atiya was supposed to share a flight with her grandmother on November 16, but the grandmother came back alone. Anjum himself returned to the UK on November 20 without his daughter and he was subsequently arrested.
He claimed he handed Atiya to a mystery man called Khan and taken to Iran but an address for the shady Mr Fixit proved to be false.
Gemma said: ‘It’s been an absolute nightmare. When I close my eyes I see Atiya. I say good night to her every night before bed.
‘I just want Atiya back home but her father’s just not prepared to back down – he’s not prepared to work with the police. He’s enjoying playing his controlling mind games.
‘It’s just sick.’
She added: ‘We haven’t celebrated her birthday since she went missing but I’ve bought her presents each year – they are waiting for her to open when she comes home.
‘On the day she went missing she was due to spend some time with Razwan. She was picked up by her uncle and taken to go see him. She was due to come back the next day and spend some time with her family opening presents.
‘I had no reason to believe that she was at any risk. There had been a standard routine, there hadn’t been any problems with the arrangements. I really don’t know where she is.
‘It looks as though she’s still in Pakistan. Razwan is refusing to say where she is, who she’s with and he won’t say anything other than she’s in Iran yet originally she was in Pakistan.
‘He won’t give the actual location of where she is. He’s doing this because he has control over me. He had sent abusive text messages after our relationship ended and the last control he would have had over me was to hurt me through Aitya – he knows she’s everything to me.
‘I think he would be boasting about what he’s doing in prison, to make himself feel good about the control he has over us. I would do anything to get her back. I just want to know where she is, how she is,’ she added.
‘We’ve been trying to arrange meetings with his family but they don’t want to communicate with me.
‘The police have tried to ask them for information, but they aren’t willing to cooperate. I don’t know any of his family over in Pakistan.
‘I think someone in the community around the family knows something. I’m hoping the information that is known could be given so we know Aitya is safe, we know she is alive and that she’s at least settled.
‘It shouldn’t be a game of control. I will be thinking about her on Tuesday, thinking about what she’s doing and who she’s with. She has a loving, doting family waiting for her. He shouldn’t be able to play games with children’s lives. We just want her home.’
Ajum, who has a son from a previous relationship, has been the subject of several civil court actions ordering him to disclose where Atiya is but he supplied false information.
He was initially jailed in June 2010 for a maximum two years at the Family Division of the High Court but has subsequently been given three more jail terms the latest imposed in March this year.
One judge said it was the most ‘cynical and cruel’ form of abduction he had dealt with in his 30 year career.
Det Con Emma Constantine of Greater Manchester Police said: ‘As far as we know, Razwan has had no contact with Aitya himself.
‘He’s never received any letters or photographs of Aitya. So there’s no way that he knows how she is.
‘We’ve been to see him a few times. He maintains the facade she’s in Iran, but there’s no evidence to support that so we’re very sceptical.
‘It’s only him that holds the information.’
Supt Phil Owen said: ‘We’re working with a range of international agencies in order to find out who may be harbouring her but it presents its challenges and problems and hopefully this is now the time to tug at heart strings and generate information from the public.
‘We haven’t got any evidence to know she’s even alive. This is the only way he can exert control.
‘He’s manipulative, he puts himself first. He will convince himself that she’s looked after and cared for but he doesn’t know that.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2228518/Mother-fears-daughter-sold-black-market-child-trafficking-racket.html#ixzz2BRMFJDJn