Search for missing Saudi student intensifies
Published Thursday, January 19, 2012 6:31AM CST
A top foreign official, the Saudi Arabian Ambassador, made a special trip to Saskatoon Wednesday. But Ambassador Osamah al Sanosi Ahmad wasn't visiting the bridge city under happy circumstances.
He met with Saskatoon police to discuss the disappearance of a University of Saskatchewan student, from Saudi Arabia.
Student Hamza al Sherief disappeared last month without a trace. The Saudi embassy is stepping up its efforts to help police find out what happened.
The Ambassador for the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia says his country will spare no expense to help find one of their students who went missing in Saskatoon more than a month ago.
"I came here to meet with the mayor and the police to emphasize the importance of sparing no efforts in trying to find anything, any clue, any leads, to know what happened to him," says al Sanosi Ahmad.
al Sherief came to the University of Saskatchewan to study chemical engineering. In mid-December, he spoke on the phone with family, wrote one of his final exams, and was never heard from again. Police say there's no evidence of foul play, mental illness, or criminal involvement.
al Sherief simply vanished.
His passport, wallet and cell phone were found in his apartment.
"You can't imagine the agony and the ordeal his family is going through. And it's our duty really to look for him and find exactly what happened to him," says al Sanosi Ahmad.
The Saudi embassy is paying for television and newspaper ads, hired a private investigator, and flew the Ambassador out to meet with police.
The embassy says there are more than 15,000 Saudi students studying in Canada, but this is the first time one has disappeared without a trace.
al Sherief is from a well-known family in his home province, but the ambassador says he would push this hard to find any missing student.
"It's our citizen and we have to know exactly what happened to him."