The family of young Chloe Collins (23) has been desperate to bring her home after she was detained in Oman since May 2019 due to illegal activity her brother was wanted for in the area. She has finally made it back onto South African soil.
According to reports, Collins was wrongfully detained by Omani authorities who demanded her brother in exchange for her freedom. Collins’ brother was reportedly wanted for a murder case, and had already left the country by this time and was being treated for schizophrenia at a mental health facility in South Africa.
Over the course of the year, many members of the public lent their support to the Collins family and hoped that she would make it home soon.
After a long struggle that lasted more than a year, Collins is finally back home.
“It is with the deepest, deepest gratitude that we would like to confirm that Chloe Collins has been released and arrived safely in South Africa on Monday 08, June 2020. Chloe will be in quarantine for the next 14 days and reunited with her family thereafter,” says family spokesperson Simone Carolissen in a statement.
Following Collins’ return home, it was revealed that she was found guilty of having knowledge of her brother fleeing Oman and this is what led to her detainment.
“While we are still studying the Court’s judgement on her matter, we have been informed that Chloe was ultimately found guilty of having knowledge of her brother – allegedly a person of interest in another matter – returning to South Africa before the Omani authorities could question him. She was sentenced to one-year detention, with the time already served taken into account,” says Carolissen.
The family and their legal advice do not agree with the case against Collins but are not yet decided on whether they will appeal or not, as Collins has already suffered an extraordinarily traumatic experience.
Local support during the difficult times the family endured has been attributed as one of the main forces that allowed her to come home.
“The overwhelming love, care and dedication displayed by everyone who took an interest in Chloe’s plight likely saved her life and contributed to getting her home safely. From sharing news about the case to keep Chloe from being forgotten, to signing petitions, to organising and attending community fundraisers, to donating to her legal defence, as well as keeping Chloe lifted in prayer: We thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and pray for Gods richest blessings for you as well as your loved ones. We also wish to thank both the South African Government for their help,” added Carolissen.
Collins and her family will undergo trauma counselling over the next few weeks to work through what happened and help her re-integrate.
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