153 Remsen Street
Brooklyn NY 11201
Tel: (718) 469-2831
July 28, 1998
I am writing this letter to you because it directly concerns Virginia and you are a United States Senator from Virginia.
On September 3, 1990, my mother, Dr. Marjorie Sloan, who had worked for more than 30 years for the Commonwealth of Virginia, most recently as a staff doctor of Western State Hospital in Staunton, was kidnapped from her hospital room in the Bangkok General Hospital in Thailand. The reason for this kidnapping was to gain control of her financial assets. My mother had fled the United States of America four years earlier because her relatives were trying to steal her money. Her net worth was about $300,000.
During four years from 1986 to 1990, avaricious relatives constantly contacted various consular officers of various US Embassies, asking them to repatriate my mother. These consular officers would then approach my mother and offer to facilitate her return. My mother invariably refused to return, and for good reason because she knew that the intention of these relatives was to take all of her money. One consular officer who tried unsuccessfully to obtain the return of my mother to the United States was Robert Murphy, who was at the time the United States Consul General in Abu Dhabi.
On September 3, 1990, a gang of hired criminals led by an American named John Sobell came into my mother's hospital room, physically overpowered her, which involved a fight because my mother was a strong woman, and forcibly removed her. They then obtained from Stephen R. Pattison, a US Consular officer in Bangkok, a new passport for her. This was necessary because, in their rush to kidnap my mother, they had not taken her purse which had been on the table by her bed, or any of her clothing. They had kidnapped my mother stark naked.
Stephen R. Pattison was clearly in on and involved in the kidnapping. When I found out about this, I rushed to the airport and found that they were in the process of forcibly boarding my mother onto a flight. I attempted to rescue my mother, but Pattison called the airport police and had them arrest me. I was held until my mother could be gotten out of the country.
Upon her arrival in America, my mother was locked up in a nursing home in Maryland. When that nursing home refused to hold her against her will (which is a violation of Maryland law) she was moved to South Carolina, where apparently they do not have such laws. My mother has been locked up ever since for the last eight years. She has never been allowed to return to her beautiful home in Lynchburg, Virginia. Indeed, that home has since been confiscated.
The day after my mother was kidnapped and repatriated to America, the same John Sobell attempted to kidnap my three children, Shamema, Michael and George. He would have succeeded, except that I got out of jail quicker than he imagined that I would. Pattison and Sobell, along with Boonchoo Yensabai, a Thai national, succeeded in having all the airports blocked from our departure. However, we escaped across a land border into Malaysia.
This attempted kidnapping of my three children, Shamema, Michael and George, was done at the behest of Charles and Shelby Roberts, who seeing the success of Sobell, Pattison and Boonchoo of kidnapping my mother, had hired them to kidnap my three children as well.
In order to facilitate the kidnapping of my three children, the Roberts paid for airline tickets to fly Shanti Vithanage, a Sri Lankan national and the mother of Jessica, to Thailand. However, Shanti had no intention of helping the Roberts. Rather, her motivation was to protect your daughter from harm. Shanti later testified that Boonchoo and the Roberts told her, "Your daughter will be dead", if she did not cooperate with them.
Promptly after arriving in Thailand on tickets provided by the Roberts, Shanti eluded them and hooked up with me. Together, the five of us, Shanti, the three children and myself, escaped across the border into Malaysia.
After successfully fleeing with my three children to Malaysia, I made the mistake of deciding to return to the United Arab Emirates where we had lived for four years. The Roberts and Boonchoo were able to track us down there. By again threatening Shanti, they secured her co-operation in the kidnapping of the three children. They were kidnapped from my home in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, on the early afternoon of October 7, 1990.
Although all three children were kidnapped, the Roberts had only purchased airline tickets for two of them. The remaining child, Michael, then just barely two years old, was abandoned to the care of a stranger in Abu Dhabi, 180 miles away.
The two children plus Shanti were boarded on a Gulf Air flight at Abu Dhabi Airport at 9:00 AM on October 8, 1990. They arrived at Washington National Airport at 12:20 AM (i.e. 20 minutes past midnight) on the early morning of October 9, 1990. Charles and Shelby Roberts then drove them to their own home in Madison Heights, Virginia, near Lynchburg, 180 miles away. Since the Roberts really only wanted Shamema, in January they called the child welfare authorities and tried to have Shanti arrested and her child taken away from her. Shanti fled Virginia with Jessica and eventually wound up in a homeless shelter in California. The Roberts sent numerous faxes to the child welfare authorities in California and succeeded in having Jessica detained for a year. However, custody of Jessica was ultimately awarded jointly to me and to her mother, Shanti.
On October 8, 1990, immediately after realizing that my daughters must have been kidnapped, I called the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the FBI in Roanoke Virginia to report this kidnapping. To my dismay, neither agency expressed any interest in this matter.
From that day forward until this, I have repeatedly demanded at every opportunity that Pattison, Sobell and Boonchoo be arrested and prosecuted for kidnapping my mother and that Charles and Shelby Roberts and all persons who helped them be arrested and prosecuted for kidnapping my daughter, Shamema.
Throughout this entire time, nobody in the government has investigated this matter, nor has there been any response from any governmental agency about this.
I would like to point out that there is no statute of limitations for kidnapping. Kidnapping is a federal crime especially where, as here, the kidnappings took place across international borders. The US does not like it when people including children are kidnapped here and taken to other countries, and should vigorously prosecute those who kidnap children in other countries and bring the kidnapping victims to the US.
In addition, the kidnapping of my daughter, Shamema, who was only 8 years old at the time she was kidnapped, was one of the monstrous and heinous criminal acts imaginable. Most people assume that the mother must have had something to do with this. That is absolutely untrue. The mother has no connection with these kidnappers. The mother is a Pakistan national who lives in a remote tribal area in Chitral. The kidnappers are fanatic Christian fundamentalists and followers of Jerry Falwell.
Another belief is that the kidnappers had legal custody of my daughter. That is also absolutely untrue. The kidnappers applied for custody of the child on October 23, 1990, 14 days after they had succeeded in having the child brought into the United States. They clearly did not have any form of custody at the time of the kidnapping. Even if they did have custody in Virginia, which they did not, that would not give them the right to kidnap the child in a foreign jurisdiction such as Abu Dhabi, especially since they are not relatives or parents of the child of any kind.
It is apparent that one reason why the FBI refuses to investigate this kidnapping is that one of their own agents, John P. Butler, is friendly with the Roberts and helped them with their kidnapping. Another friend of the Roberts who assisted them in the kidnapping of my daughter is Morgan Scott, who was at the time the US Attorney in Roanoke, Virginia.
In short, the Roberts had some powerful allies who have helped them kidnap my daughter and get away with it. They have Jerry Falwell, an influential religious leader who virtually controls Lynchburg, Virginia, John P. Butler, an FBI agent, Morgan Scott, a former US Attorney, and Stephen R. Pattison, a US Consular officer. All of these people were directly involved in the kidnapping of my mother and/or my daughter. Every time I make a complaint about these kidnappings, the matters get referred to Pattison, Butler and Scott and they, being involved in the kidnapping themselves, naturally report that no such thing occurred.
However, such a thing did occur and I can prove it.
Attached as proof are various exhibits. First is the airplane ticket and the flight reservation which was used to bring my daughter to America on October 8, 1990. You can see that the ticket was purchased by Jay Roberts, who is the son of Charles and Shelby Roberts, at Holiday Travel in Lynchburg, Virginia. In addition, there are various newspaper articles which document this kidnapping.
Finally, I enclose a US State Department memo about this. This memo is dated June 1990. It needs to be explained that Charles Roberts spent four years trying to kidnap my daughter. He successfully kidnapped her on October 7-8, 1990, but there had been several unsuccessful attempts as well. This is what a memo from the US Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, states:
1. LAST WEEK COLOMBO RECEIVED A PHONE CALL FROM CHARLES ROBERTS, ALLEGING THAT HE HAS LEGAL CUSTODY OF SHAMEMA HONZAGOOL SLOAN, DAUGHTER OF ISMAIL SLOAN (AKA SAMUEL H. SLOAN), AND ASKED FOR VISA ASSISTANCE FOR TWO SRI LANKANS TO BRING THE CHILD BACK TO THE US. 2. AS BEST POST CAN DETERMINE FROM THE DOCUMENTS FAXED TO COLOMBO BY ROBERTS, SHAMEMA WAS BORN AROUND DECEMBER 1981 PROBABLY IN NEW YORK, TO SLOAN AND A PAKISTANI LOVER NAMED HONZAGOOL (NOT CLEAR IF THEY WERE EVER MARRIED).
3. ROBERTS SAYS HE WAS CALLED TWICE (8/89 AND 5/90) BY TWO EMPLOYEES OF SLOAN'S IN THE UAE ALLEGEDLY SADDENED BY THE CHILD'S PLIGHT AND OFFERING TO BRING HER BACK TO THE U.S., IF ROBERTS COULD HANDLE AIRFARE, FACILITATE VISAS, ETC. ROBERTS SENT SPONSORING LETTERS IN 9/89, BUT IS MORE LEARY AFTER THE SECOND PHONE CALL, WONDERING IF THIS MIGHT BE A TRAP BY SLOAN TO GET ROBERTS ACCUSED OF KIDNAPPING.
What this letter shows is that Roberts was trying to do what he eventually did, hire somebody to kidnap my daughter and reward them with a trip to America. In an impoverished, war torn country like Sri Lanka there are many people who could be hired to perform such a criminal act, and Mr. Roberts was clearly inclined to resort to criminals to secure his ends.
Also, note in the memo that Roberts claimed to have legal custody of the child. This was not true. Roberts had never had custody of this child, legal or otherwise.
I would like for your good offices, as Senator of the United States, to contact the FBI, the Department of Justice and all other appropriate authorities and demand an explanation as to why Charles and Shelby Roberts, who are still holding my daughter prisoner to this day, are not being arrested and prosecuted for this kidnapping.
Very Truly Yours,