In mobile phone footage shown on Panorama last night she said: “I’m a hostage. There are five policemen outside.” Sheikh Maktoum – a huge horse racing fan who is thought to be a friend of the Queen – was said by a London court last year to have “ordered” her seizure. The 71-year-old claims Latifa, 35, is safe with her family. He has called her enforced return “a rescue mission”. Latifa is one of the sheikh’s 30 children by six wives.
She described in the smuggled film how he tracked her to the Arabian Sea off Goa when she tried to escape the family in 2018 then persuaded India to send armed special forces to seize the vessel.
The film on the BBC showed her looking pale and frightened.
She said: “I’m a hostage. And this villa has been converted into a jail. All the windows are barred shut.
“There’s five policemen outside and two policewomen inside. I can’t even go out to get fresh air. So basically, I’m a hostage.”
Describing how her vessel – captained by a hired French former spy – was stormed 30 miles out to sea, she said: “I kept saying ‘You can’t take me back.
“‘I want asylum and we’re in international waters. You can’t kidnap me’.
“They were just on a mission and they were given orders.”
Latifa said she grappled with two of the men and bit one on the arm before they zip-tied her hands and then tranquilised her.
“When I woke up the jet had already landed in Dubai and I just felt really sad at this point. Everything I was working on for so many years to get my freedom was gone.”
Latifa – full name Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum – added: “I have been here ever since, for more than a year in solitary confinement.
“No access to medical help, no trial, no charge, nothing. Every day I am worried about my safety and the police threaten me that I will never see the sun again. I am not safe here.”
Panorama said that it had independently verified her location.