The villa had been painted, the pool had been filled with water and the furniture all set up. But the infamous new tenant of the home in the Mexican beach resort of Punto Mita never got the chance to move in.
The son of former Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, Saadi’s plans to move out of his exile in Niger into a life of luxury by the Pacific Coast had reached an advanced stage.
Punta Mita is located close to the trendy holiday spot of Puerto Vallarta, where celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Charlie Sheen and Lady Gaga come to vacation
A private jet stood ready as did the forged documents.
Saadi and three relatives were, according to Mexican police, supposed to be smuggled into Mexico on fake identity documents and put up in the two-storey villa which had access to a private beach.
But Saadi never made it to his luxurious new hiding place. Mexican authorities got wind of the plan and arrested the people behind it.
Four people were detained ─ Danish Pierre Christian Flensborg, Canadian Cynthia Vanier and two Mexicans.
Vanier, the alleged mastermind of the escape plan, was arrested in Mexico City on November 10. She reportedly was in direct contact with the Qaddafi family and according to the Canadian newspaper, The National Post, in July 2011 even traveled to war-ravaged Libya on a mysterious “fact-finding mission”.
A day after Vanier was detained, her three co-conspirators were arrested in Mexico City.
Flensborg was in charge of logistics while the two Mexican citizens were responsible for obtaining the forged documents.
Flensborg was arrested in the Mexican capital when he went there to collect $40,000 owed to him by Vanier for a plane she used for the trip to Libya.
According to the Mexican daily La Reforma, Vanier’s name was on the deed of the villa, and she had even attempted to have the Qaddafi hideout financed via a loan from the Mexican bank Bancomer.
After the arrests were made, Mexico’s Interior Minister Alejando Poiré said the vast resources the criminal gang had available to them, allowed them to use private jets to fly between Mexico, the U.S., Canada, Kosovo and several countries in the Middle East to transport Saadi to Mexico.
Poiré added that the four Qaddafi refugees were planning to enter Mexico under the pseudonyms Daniel Bejar Haman, Amira Sayd Nader, Moah Bejar Sayed and Sofia Bejar Sayed.
When Mexican authorities learned of the secret plans in September, Saadi was already out of Libya. He had escaped across the border into Niger in August around the same time Tripoli fell into the hands of anti-Qaddafi fighters.
However, it is not known whether Saadi was going to leave Niger directly for Mexico. In early November Niger’s president announced that the country had decided to giver humanitarian asylum to the young Qaddafi.
(Translated and written by Sara Ghasemilee)