UK/NZ kidnap cold case solved by new book


Two NZ victims of a 1981 child abduction in London have in the last 24 hours made contact for the first time with their mother, 30 years after being listed as officially “kidnapped”.

Sasha and Naomi Moray were snatched off a London street at the ages of 4 and 2, back in 1981, just days after the Royal Wedding of Charles and Diana.

Their New Zealand-born mother Paulette Moray has been hunting for her missing children all over the world for three decades, in a case that made international headlines and which helped changed child abduction laws in Britain.

It’s almost unheard of for abducted children, missing for so long, to ever turn up, because of name changes, country of residence changes and other hurdles usually making it impossible for them to be found.

Now, however, thanks to a new book, the missing children, now in their 30s, have been located.

The authors, George London and an investigative journalist, say their new book, THE HUNT, has been surrounded by a veil of secrecy virtually right up to its launch this week.

“The incredible story behind THE HUNT is that George London managed to achieve what New Scotland Yard could not – he got a lead on the whereabouts of the kidnapper five years ago and has been building a trap for him ever since,” the authors said in a statement.

“George tricked the kidnapper – using the internet – into thinking he was an old friend making contact again, and built a relationship with the man using a false identity. That began back in 2006, and ever since then George has been involved in a cat and mouse game that’s finally enabled us this week to make direct contact for the first time with the missing children and reveal their true past to them.

“Any hint that we were successfully tracking the man would have seen any hope of reaching the children dashed, perhaps forever, so this was an extremely high-stakes operation,” they said today. “This is a case that saw airports and seaports across Britain put on alert, that inspired a law change and which gained the assistance of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin group in creating publicity about the kidnapped pre-schoolers.”

The authors say the book provides evidence suggesting the kidnapper was aided in getting the children out of the country by a Detective Chief Inspector in New Scotland Yard who was a personal friend of the man.

They say the trap finally snapped shut early Friday morning NZ time when they emailed an advance copy of THE HUNT to Sasha Moray, using an email address unwittingly provided by the kidnapper. The book ends with a personal plea from the children’s mother to make contact.

“The past three days have been a fingernail-chewing nightmare for me,” one said today. “I didn’t know whether my message to Sasha would forever close the door to the children, and as the days went by without hearing anything I was becoming pretty concerned.”

An email from Sasha Moray, Monday, – addressed “Dear Mum” – broke the silence:

“I received the email from Ian 3 days ago and spent a whole day reading and trying to digest what it was that was unfolding in front of my eyes,” Sasha writes to his mother, explaining that he and Naomi have spent the past three days in constant communication, reading the book and discussing how to handle and process what they’ve discovered about their own pasts.

The email ends: “We are both happy, bewildered, amazed, sad, intrigued and dumbfounded by all of this but as you said the future can be ours – we intend to make it so
your children
Sasha and Naomi”

THE HUNT, by George London, goes on sale in New Zealand and the UK this week.