She chases every lead

WHERE IS SHE? Ms Sophia Shoba Ram Blas is looking for her younger sister Rachel Liliwat, who disappeared in 2010 with Nigerian husband Felix Ibitayo.

SINGAPORE - Security guard Sophia Shoba Ram Blas has been calling the Ministry of Foreign Affairs every other day since January.

The 49-year-old is hoping for good news about her sister.

Since her sister Rachel Liliwat Ram Blas, 55, left Singapore with her husband in 2010, there has been absolutely no word.

Ms Sophia believes that Madam Rachel is in Nigeria with her husband Felix Ibitayo.

"My other sister and I just want to find out how she is doing and if she is fine," she said, adding that the three girls had been close when they were growing up. "It isn't like her to have not got in touch for so long."

The sisters have been leading separate lives for some time now and may not have kept in contact much, but Ms Sophia started worrying last year.

She said: "I started having recurring bad dreams last December of Rachel asking for help. Call me superstitious, but it seemed like a bad omen."

She tried calling her sister, but the phone number did not work.

She then tried searching for Madam Rachel, who got married in 2000, at her old home.

"A Malay family now lives there," she said.

"The makcik (Malay for auntie) said that my sister's husband used to drop by in the first few months himself to collect letters... but she said she never saw my sister during those times."

Further checks made by the two sisters found that while Madam Rachel had taken out most of her savings, the remainder has been untouched since 2010.

Ms Sophia eventually went to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore, who told her that her sibling left Singapore in 2010.

WORRYING SILENCE

The sisters are concerned because there is still money in her sister's savings account.

This was enough evidence for them that their sister meant to come back to Singapore. Plus, Madam Rachel would usually call the other sister once in a while. So her silence has been worrying.

The sisters are now suspicious about an injury Madam Rachel suffered in 2007.

She had a broken leg and had said then that she had fallen down the stairs.

With Madam Rachel's continued silence, the sisters are thinking of the incident in a more sinister light - even though they admit they have no proof.

Ms Sophia says the family later learnt that Madam Rachel was admitted to hospital another three times - in November 2009, January 2010 and August 2010.

She has no idea why her sister was hospitalised as they found out after the fact.

She is chasing down every lead.

She said: "I understand Singaporeans need visas to visit Nigeria. If she left in 2010, her visa would have run out by now."

Ms Sophia has also approached Mr Joseph Tan, founder of Crime Library, asking him to search for her sister.

Mr Tan, a former policeman, confirmed that he was approached and told The New Paper he was getting in touch with his contacts in Nigeria.

Said Ms Sophia: "I don't know if she is dead or in jail or what. All I want to know is where she is now and if she is well. That way, the family and I will have some sort of closure."


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