An Indonesian woman is seeking help to find her five-year-old daughter who was possibly taken away by her American ex-husband in Vietnam without her consent.
Ela Herawati, 35, has complained to the Indonesian consulate in Ho Chi Minh City and to the local police, accusing her ex-husband of abduction.
Herawati told news website VietNamNet that they divorced last year after six years of marriage since he left her take care of the child on her own and started dating various women he met online.
She won custody of their daughter and moved to live in the Philippines.
She said her ex had tricked her into bringing the girl to HCMC, where he was teaching at an international school, by lying that he wanted to see her before undergoing a critical surgery to treat bone cancer.
Herawati and her daughter arrived in HCMC on July 10 and five days later, he took them to Vung Tau beach town nearby for a short vacation.
He gave her a spa voucher that afternoon, saying he wanted her to relax.
But when coming back three hours later, she found that her ex-husband had left with her daughter and US$4,000, 500 euros, two gold rings, two cell phones, credit cards, and personal papers belonging to her, she said.
She in vain tried to call him.
The receptionist said they had left with a woman named Quynh, who was also the one who had booked their hotel rooms.
Herawati said Quynh, possibly the woman seen leaving with her ex-husband and daughter in the hotel’s CCTV footage, had approached her several months after her divorce to recruit her daughter for a children’s modeling agency.
She said she had rejected the offer.
She suspects the woman has been in a relationship with her ex-husband all that time, and the modeling offer was just the first attempt to take her daughter away.
The police found that two of her missing credit cards have been used several times in the past few days for purchases worth around $1,150 in Ho Chi Minh City.