Hervé Jaubert (born 13 March 1956) is a former French Navy officer, marine engineer, spy who operated as a secret agent for the DGSE until 1993. He moved to Stuart, Florida in the early 2000s where he set up a company to build and operate recreational submarines. He then moved his firm to the United Arab Emirates, branded as Exomos. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis in October 2008, Exomos ceased to exist. Jaubert was found guilty of embezzlement by a Dubai Court and has been sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to repay AED 14 million. Jaubert fled the country within the year after being accused of embezzlement and subsequently returned to Stuart, where he is a permanent US resident.
Events in the United Arab Emirates
Accusation of embezzlement and escape
In 2004, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem visited Jaubert's factory in Florida and invited him to move his firm to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Jaubert accepted the invitation and bin Sulayem put him in charge of a new subsidiary of Dubai World. There, Jaubert set up a submarine manufacturing company with a factory, which after two years started making tourist submarines and superfast boats: it made four mini-submarines, a submersible yacht, and a larger submarine called Nautilus which could carry nine people.
Jaubert was put in charge of a newly formed subsidiary of Dubai World that Bin Sulayem chaired, which is the same company behind the development of Palm Jumeirah and World Islands. He lived with his American wife and two children in a villa with private swimming pool. According to Dubai courts, auditors investigating the company accounts found gaps and equipments that Mr Jaubert had ordered from his own company in Florida failed to arrive, or parts were faulty. He was alleged to have short-changed Dubai World by AED 14 million. According to Jaubert, the company wanted to pull the plug on the venture but wanted to blame someone first. Jaubert was questioned by auditors and the police. According to Jaubert, the police threatened Jaubert to "insert needles into your nose again and again". According to Jaubert, he promised to pay back the AED 14 million to buy time to escape. He was court ordered to stay in the country and hand his passport due to being under investigation. The court found Jaubert guilty of embezzlement and sentenced him to five years in prison and ordered him to repay AED 14 million.
According to Jaubert's account, he got to Fujairah, where a set of frogman's kit was smuggled to him in parts. One night in May 2008, he put this frogman's kit on, and an Arab woman's abaya over it as a disguise. He slipped from his hotel to the beach at night disguised under the abaya and swam to the area's only police patrol boat, which was in a coastguard station, and climbed onto the boat and clogged its fuel lines to prevent pursuit. Next morning he made his escape on a rubber dinghy with a small outboard motor, and sailed and waited in international waters for six hours to a prearranged meeting with a former fellow spy in a sailing boat, just outside United Arab Emirates territorial waters. The sailing boat carried him in eight days to Mumbai in India, and from there in 2008 he went home to Florida.
Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum
On March 4, 2018, Hervé Jaubert and a Finnish woman, Tiina Jauhiainen, attempted to allegedly help Dubai Princess Latifa escape from Dubai. They were intercepted by Indian and Emirati special forces and were taken from a yacht off the coast of Goa, India. Two weeks later he was released, along with Jauhiainen and the three Filipino crew.
In December 2018, his American ex-wife Helene Jaubert told American news website The Daily Beast that Hervé Jaubert and Radha Stirling had been in contact with princess Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum (II) for 5 years and invented the whole disappearance scheme together. According to Helene, “The whole plan was for Herve to help her escape and once he got her out the daughter was going to get to the dad and say I want $3 million or else I’ll tell all to the media”. According to Helene, "It was a con. It’s a corrupt scheme gone haywire". According to Stirling, Latifa phoned her from the boat in the middle of the ambush, saying she feared for her life and “was hearing gunshots.” According to Stirling, Latifa made the call via WhatsApp and evidence of the call was provided to authorities in the US and UK and made available to reporters, although The Daily Beast pointed out that a satellite phone is normally needed to call from their alleged location in the Indian Ocean. However, it was quickly established that the yacht Nostromo was outfitted with satellite phone. In August 2019, Tiina Jauhiainen gave her version of events to on-line magazine Insider.
On 28 June 2009 a court in Dubai tried Jaubert in absentia and found him guilty and sentenced him to 5 years imprisonment. George Dalton, Dubai World's chief counsel, stated in an interview in September 2009 that he was confident that a US Court would return a similar verdict against Jaubert.
On 28 February 2011 at Fort Pierce, Florida the court rejected all Dubai World's claims against Herve Jaubert of breach of contract, fraud, embezzlement and theft. The court also found against Jaubert's claim of abuse of process, and Jaubert was not awarded any money damages or other relief.
Herve Jaubert published seven books:
- 1995: a book called "Il n' a plus de secrets dans les services" (ODILON MEDIA)
- 2009: a book called "Escape from Dubai" (ISBN 978-0929915944), about his Dubai experience.
- 2011: a novel called "The Boston Fracture" (ISBN 978-1466405615), a politico-techno-action thriller.
- 2015: Comment contredire un Musulman (French Edition) " (ISBN 978-1507506561)
- 2016: " Misere sexuelle des musulmans et violence (French Edition) " (ISBN 978-1540654960)
- 2016: " How to bust a Muslim in 20 questions: Islampology" (ISBN 978-1534780163)
- 2019: " Princess Latifa and the Spy" (ISBN 978-1093730685)
- Higgins, Andrew (10 August 2009). "As Dubai's Glitter Fades, Foreigners See Dark Side". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 17 July 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
- Spencer, Richard (2009-08-23). "With scuba gear under a burka, French spy Herve Jaubert made his escape from Dubai". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
- Kwong, Matt (2009-08-25). "The spy who came in from the sea". The National. UAE. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
- "Mystery of the missing princess, the French spy, and a Finnish woman". Helsinki Times. 2018-03-19. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
- Evans, Natalie; Taylor, Joshua; Clarke-Billings, Lucy (2018-03-20). "Missing Dubai princess's haunting last WhatsApp message revealed after disappearing with personal trainer and ex-spy". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
- Graham-Harrison, Emma (2018-12-04). "Missing Emirati princess 'planned escape for seven years'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-12-05.
- India accused of violating international treaties in sending back runaway Dubai princess
- Kennedy, Dana (5 December 2018). "The Missing Princess of Dubai: Foiled Escape or Complete Fraud?". The Daily Beast.
- "Nostromo Survey Report" (PDF). ybi1.com. 21 September 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 October 2019. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
- Bostock, Bill (4 August 2019). "Princess Latifa of Dubai Tried to Flee the Royal Family, but Got Caught and Dragged Back. Here's How Her Doomed Escape Went Down, According to the Friend Who Fled with Her". Insider.
- Higgins, Andrew (2009-08-10). "As Dubai's Glitter Fades, Foreigners See Dark Side". ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
- Devi, Sharmilla (2011-03-02). "Dubai World defeats French ex-spy in Florida court". The National. UAE. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
- Arabian Business article