Connect with us

Australia

Uber driver ‘admits murdering UK Embassy worker’ in Beirut

Rebecca Dykes, 30, was found strangled to death in a dumpster outside Beirut
Uber driver Tarek Hess..

  • Rebecca Dykes, 30, was found strangled to death in a dumpster outside Beirut
  • Uber driver Tarek Hesso, 35, was arrested at 3am in the Lebanese capital today
  • Suspect is said to have admitted carrying out the attack, according to local news

By Martin Robinson, Uk Chief Reporter For Mailonline

Published: 02:04 EST, 18 December 2017 | Updated: 18:05 EST, 18 December 2017

Rebecca Dykes (pictured) was abducted after leaving a party in Beirut 

Rebecca Dykes (pictured) was abducted after leaving a party in Beirut

The heartbroken family of a British diplomat who was allegedly raped before she was murdered in Beirut today said she was 'irreplaceable' and they will 'never recover'.

Rebecca Dykes, 30, was abducted after leaving a party in the Lebanese capital on Friday night.

Her body was reportedly found in a dumpster by the roadside and officials are investigating whether she was sexually assaulted before the attack.

A 35-year-old Uber driver, identified as Tarek Hesso, was arrested in a 3am raid on Monday. He has previously served several prison sentences.

Ms Dykes' family today said she was 'simply irreplaceable and we will never fully recover from this loss', in a statement released by the Foreign Office.

According to Lebanon's NNA agency, Hesso admitted picking the diplomat up in his taxi, attempting to rape her and then strangling her before ditching her body.

The body of the former public schoolgirl was found by a motorway on Saturday evening several miles from the nightspot where she was last seen alive.

Investigators told MailOnline Hesso is 35 but a second senior security official in Lebanon said the suspect was aged 41 and had been arrested on drug-related charges in the period 2015-17.

A police official said today that the suspect was traced through security cameras that showed his car driving from Beirut to the area where Dykes' body was found, just north of the Lebanese capital.

'He was detained at his apartment,' the official said, adding that the suspect is a Lebanese citizen.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency said the suspect is a taxi driver who picked up the woman from Beirut's Gemayze neighborhood, known for its restaurants and pubs, then drove to a nearby neighborhood where she lived but did not drop her off there.

Instead, the suspect drove the car to the site where Dykes' body was later found. NNA said the man tried to sexually assault her, then strangled her with a rope. The police have not confirmed those details.

This chilling image was drawn by a local artist to try and help identify her and she was recognised after the sketchThis chilling image was drawn by a local artist to try and help identify her and she was recognised after the sketch

This chilling image was drawn by a local artist to try and help identify her and she was recognised after the sketch

Rebecca Dykes, a UK diplomat who worked at the British embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, has been found dead Rebecca Dykes, a UK diplomat who worked at the British embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, has been found dead 

Rebecca Dykes, a UK diplomat who worked at the British embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, has been found dead

Police are investigating whether Ms Dykes (pictured), 30, was sexually assaulted before her body was foundPolice are investigating whether Ms Dykes (pictured), 30, was sexually assaulted before her body was found

Police are investigating whether Ms Dykes (pictured), 30, was sexually assaulted before her body was found

Rebecca Dykes was said to have been at a leaving party at the Demo nightclub (pictured) in Beirut before she went missingRebecca Dykes was said to have been at a leaving party at the Demo nightclub (pictured) in Beirut before she went missing

Rebecca Dykes was said to have been at a leaving party at the Demo nightclub (pictured) in Beirut before she went missing

The driver then 'tried to rape her and when she resisted he strangled her… took her wallet and threw her in a dumpster,' an official said.

The murder has shaken Lebanon, where such crimes, particularly against foreigners, are relatively uncommon.

Earlier, a forensics official told The Associated Press that the woman was strangled with a rope.

Ms Dykes (pictured) started working for the government in 2010 and started working as a programme and policy manager in Lebanon since JanuaryMs Dykes (pictured) started working for the government in 2010 and started working as a programme and policy manager in Lebanon since January

Ms Dykes (pictured) started working for the government in 2010 and started working as a programme and policy manager in Lebanon since January

Lebanese police have launched an investigation following the discovery on Saturday evening.

One security source said the diplomat was found with 'a piece of string around her neck'.

Miss Dykes worked for the Department for International Development as a programme and policy manager and moved to Beirut in January.

In a statement, her family said last night: 'We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca. We are doing all we can to understand what happened.'

The diplomat, who was understood to be planning to fly home for Christmas on Saturday, had been at a leaving party for a British embassy colleague at a bar in the Gemmayzeh area of central Beirut.

She left alone just after midnight and is thought to have been abducted minutes later.

Police sources gave the cause of death as strangulation following a post-mortem examination, but added that another test is to be carried out.

Ms Dyke is believed to have gone missing in the Gemmayzeh district at about midnight after a night out on Friday. Her body was found on Saturday eveningMs Dyke is believed to have gone missing in the Gemmayzeh district at about midnight after a night out on Friday. Her body was found on Saturday evening

Ms Dyke is believed to have gone missing in the Gemmayzeh district at about midnight after a night out on Friday. Her body was found on Saturday evening

Such crime is rare in the Lebanese capital, a city which is considered generally safe, including for tourists and foreign residents.

One official involved in the investigation said: 'Our first impression is that it's not politically motivated.'

He said her body was found 'on the side of the Emile Lahoud road', east of central Beirut.

One friend said: 'It's horrific. We had no idea what happened to her until we got a call today to go to the police station to give statements.'

Hugo Shorter, the British ambassador to Lebanon, said: 'The whole embassy is deeply shocked, saddened by this news. My thoughts are with Becky's family, friends and colleagues for their tragic loss.

'We're providing consular support to her family and working very closely with Lebanese authorities who are conducting a police investigation.'

Miss Dykes was a boarder at Malvern St James girls' school in Worcestershire and then spent two years at Rugby School, one of the oldest independent schools in Britain.

She graduated in social anthropology at Manchester University in 2008.

Miss Dykes then completed a master's degree in international security and global governance at Birkbeck, University of London.

She joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2010 and worked in Iraq as a research analyst before working in Libya as a policy manager.

On her LinkedIn page she described herself as 'skilled in conflict, international relations, civil society and humanitarian assistance'.

Her body was found on Saturday close to the Metn expressway (pictured) in Lebanon's capital Her body was found on Saturday close to the Metn expressway (pictured) in Lebanon's capital 

Her body was found on Saturday close to the Metn expressway (pictured) in Lebanon's capital

Miss Dykes spent four years in Hong Kong, teaching English to teenagers. She also worked as a human rights monitor, translating documents from Chinese to English.

Since her death, friends and colleagues spoke of their shock at her murder.

Bilal Al Ayoubi wrote on Twitter: 'What a great loss. The ugly face of life is when someone dedicates her life to working for peace and stability in the world gets murdered in such brutality…very sad.

'She was such a sweet and kind lady who took her job seriously and cared about Lebanon's stability.'

One friend, Brooke Anderson, wrote on Facebook: 'Simply in shock. We will miss you, Becky.'

The incident is the latest to highlight the issue of safety at Uber, which was stripped of its operating licence in London in September over concerns about its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers.

A spokesman for Uber said in an email: 'We are horrified by this senseless act of violence. Our hearts are with the victim and her family. We are working with authorities to assist their investigation in any way we can.'

London police complained in April that Uber was either not disclosing, or taking too long to report, serious crimes including sexual assaults and this put the public at risk. The firm's boss has promised to make things right in the British capital.

And globally, the app has suffered a series of scandals in 2017 as a stream of executives left amid controversies involving allegations of sexual harassment and issues surrounding data privacy and business practices.

 Ms Dykes was working in Beirut (pictured) and her body has been found close to the busy road Ms Dykes was working in Beirut (pictured) and her body has been found close to the busy road

Ms Dykes was working in Beirut (pictured) and her body has been found close to the busy road

The company, valued at around $70 billion with investors including Goldman Sachs, has faced bans and protests in countries around the world as it disrupts traditional players who have accused it of cutting corners on safety.

The Foreign Office advises against all travel to several areas in Lebanon, including southern suburbs of Beirut, and all but essential travel to most other areas of the country.

Terror attacks are deemed 'very likely' in the country, and protests in Beirut are common following the US announcement on the status of Jerusalem.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: 'Following the death of a British woman in Beirut, we are providing support to the family. We remain in close contact with local authorities. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.'

Under Lebanon's CSSF programme, the UK government has spent millions of pounds supporting the country's armed forces to address 'security threats originating from Syria'.

Cash has also been spent on preventing 'illegal cross border activity' between Lebanon and Syria – an area where jihadists have been active – and assisting local policing.

Last night some expressed concerns that the attack on Miss Dyke might be hushed up by Lebanese authorities.

Rami Cherri wrote on Twitter: 'The lack of coverage on the rape and murder on any Lebanese news channel is disgusting to say the least. In order to have a safer society in this country our mind-set has to change for the better.

'We need to address the rise of rape and murders in Lebanon now. This is inexcusable and inhumane.'

Read more:

Original Article

The post Uber driver 'admits murdering UK Embassy worker' in Beirut appeared first on News Wire Now.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Australia

Argonaut Resources directors show faith in company by participating in oversubscribed SPP

Argonaut Resources NL (ASX:ARE) directors have demonstrated their faith in the company’s copper-zinc strategy by participating in the recently closed share purchase plan (SPP).

Independent non-executive chairman Patrick Elliot purchased more than 4.465 million shares at 0.55 cents per share in an indirect interest.

He now holds 5,876,159 shares in that interest with another 20,324,574 held in a separate indirect interest.

Independent non-executive chairman Malcolm Richmond acquired more than 5.454 million shares in a direct interest, increasing the number held in this interest to almost 15 million with another 1 million held in an indirect interest.

Overwhelming response to SPP[hhmc]
The company was overwhelmed by the response to its SPP which closed early and more than twice oversubscribed with the target subsequently increased to $2.5 million from $1.2 million.

Subscriptions in excess of $3 million were received and as a result, the SPP was closed with immediate effect.

Money ..

Argonaut Resources NL (ASX:ARE) directors have demonstrated their faith in the company’s copper-zinc strategy by participating in the recently closed share purchase plan (SPP).

Independent non-executive chairman Patrick Elliot purchased more than 4.465 million shares at 0.55 cents per share in an indirect interest.

He now holds 5,876,159 shares in that interest with another 20,324,574 held in a separate indirect interest.

Independent non-executive chairman Malcolm Richmond acquired more than 5.454 million shares in a direct interest, increasing the number held in this interest to almost 15 million with another 1 million held in an indirect interest.

Overwhelming response to SPP


The company was overwhelmed by the response to its SPP which closed early and more than twice oversubscribed with the target subsequently increased to $2.5 million from $1.2 million.

Subscriptions in excess of $3 million were received and as a result, the SPP was closed with immediate effect.

Money raised under this SPP and from the recently completed $2.7 million share placeRead More – Source

Continue Reading

Australia

Strickland Metals shares jump 39% ahead of drilling base metal target near DeGrussa

Strickland Metals Ltd (ASX:STK) shares surged 39% today ahead of its maiden drilling program at the Doolgunna Project, which will include a diamond drilling program that is likely to begin by the end of this month.

As a part of the program, a minimum of four diamond holes will be drilled to a depth of 500 metres to test a VMS target similar to the nearby DeGrussa deposit of Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR).

Heritage survey[hhmc]
Exploration activity has recommenced on the Doolgunna Project following completion of heritage surveys to allow land access to areas where the company wishes to complete exploration drilling.

The target for drilling is a compelling base metal prospect that exhibits geological characteristics that are interpreted to be similar to Sandfire Resources’ DeGrussa deposit about 30 kilometres to the east of the project.

The prospect has a 3-kilometre-long electromagnetic conductor that lies below an outcropping copper-zinc gossan that has been mapped over a 1.2-kilomet..

Strickland Metals Ltd (ASX:STK) shares surged 39% today ahead of its maiden drilling program at the Doolgunna Project, which will include a diamond drilling program that is likely to begin by the end of this month.

As a part of the program, a minimum of four diamond holes will be drilled to a depth of 500 metres to test a VMS target similar to the nearby DeGrussa deposit of Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR).

Heritage survey


Exploration activity has recommenced on the Doolgunna Project following completion of heritage surveys to allow land access to areas where the company wishes to complete exploration drilling.

The target for drilling is a compelling base metal prospect that exhibits geological characteristics that are interpreted to be similar to Sandfire Resources’ DeGrussa deposit about 30 kilometres to the east of the project.

The prospect has a 3-kilometre-long electromagnetic conductor that lies below an outcropping copper-zinc gossan that has been mapped over a 1.2-kilometre strike.

Diamond core drilling


The company plans to start the diamond core drilling by the end of this month.

A multi-purpose drill rig has been contracted to enable the minimum planned program wRead More – Source

Continue Reading

Australia

Pan Asia Metals has positive discussions on plans for Thai lithium project

Pan Asia Metals Ltd (ASX:PAM) has had positive discussions with authorities in Phang Nga Province, Thailand, including the provincial government, for its Reung Kiet Lithium Project.

PAM has submitted a presentation covering all aspects of the project including methods of ongoing exploration, conceptual mining and concentrate production, and the potential for downstream value-adding industries in Phang Nga and Thailand.

The presentation and subsequent discussions were aimed at assisting Phang Nga Provincial Government in their considerations for the proposed mining and industrial development areas.

Provincial Government discussions[hhmc]
Pan Asia was recently invited by the chief executive officer of the Phang Nga Provincial Administrative Organisation (PAO), a Phang Nga Provincial Government coordinating body, to represent PAM and the Reung Kiet Lithium Project.

The meeting was also attended by the head of Phang Nga Provincial Industry along with the representatives of the Phang Ng..

Pan Asia Metals Ltd (ASX:PAM) has had positive discussions with authorities in Phang Nga Province, Thailand, including the provincial government, for its Reung Kiet Lithium Project.

PAM has submitted a presentation covering all aspects of the project including methods of ongoing exploration, conceptual mining and concentrate production, and the potential for downstream value-adding industries in Phang Nga and Thailand.

The presentation and subsequent discussions were aimed at assisting Phang Nga Provincial Government in their considerations for the proposed mining and industrial development areas.

Provincial Government discussions


Pan Asia was recently invited by the chief executive officer of the Phang Nga Provincial Administrative Organisation (PAO), a Phang Nga Provincial Government coordinating body, to represent PAM and the Reung Kiet Lithium Project.

The meeting was also attended by the head of Phang Nga Provincial Industry along with the representatives of the Phang Nga Provincial Public Works and Town Planning Office.

Phang Nga Provincial Industry head has been appointed by the Phang Nga governor as chairman of the Phang Nga New Town Planning Committee.

During the meeting, the chairman of the committee conveyed its support for the Reung Kiet Lithium Project.

PAO wants to ensure that the requirements of the Reung Kiet project are incorporated into the town planning committee’s zoning plans to ensure that the project can progress once exploration and feasibility results prove positive.

“Can bring opportunities”


PAM managing director Paul Lock said: “We have been working hard in Phang Nga province and we are very happy with the positive reception that the Reung Kiet Lithium Project is receiving from the Phang Nga Provincial Government and surrounding communities.

“Reung Kiet is strategically located and based on peer feasibility work the project is positioned to potentially be one of the lowest-cost suppliers of lithium chemicals in the global peer group.

“This is a project that can bring substantial opportunities and value to Phang Nga and Thailand.”

Pan Asia is planning its second Reung Kiet drilling program with expectations that this will begin in the coming months following the conclusion of the current Khao Soon drilling program.

Potential cost curve leader


Reung Kiet is a hard rock project with lepidolite rich pegmatites chiefly composed of quartz, albite and lepidolite with minor cassiterite and tantalite as well as other accessory minerals including some rare earth.

Lepidolite does not require roasting and has a suite of by-products which are recoverable at the concentrator and processing stages of the flow sheet.

Peer feasibility work has Read More – Source

Continue Reading

Trending