Woman and mum missing while on mystery Romania trip

Ms Yap and Madam Foo are said to have flown to Bucharest, via Frankfurt, last month. Their family said attempts to contact them have been futile.
Ms Yap and Madam Foo are said to have flown to Bucharest, via Frankfurt, last month. Their family said attempts to contact them have been futile.PHOTO: FACEBOOK

A 25-year-old woman who left discreetly for Romania last month, with her 61-year-old mother, was supposedly going to meet a man she had met online.

Ms Yap Lay Leng, an administrative officer, had with her four bank passbooks containing savings of at least $40,000 as well as cash and her SG50 commemorative notes, according to Shin Min Daily News.

She and her mother, Madam Foo Li Kheng, have been missing for 10 days, and their family's attempts to contact them have been futile.

Her father, who wanted to be known only as Mr Yap, told the Chinese newspaper he was worried that they had fallen victim to a scam. The pair had left for Romania without his knowledge.

On the morning of Jan 22, the day they left, Ms Yap had gone to work as usual. At around 4pm, Madam Foo, a housewife, left home to meet her daughter for a meal.

Mr Yap, 59, a taxi driver, said that was the last time he had any contact with them.

That night, he started his shift at about 9pm, returning home at around 5am to discover that his wife and daughter were not there. His attempts to reach them were unsuccessful. Their passports were also gone.

Finding out about the mystery trip from his daughter's credit card bill, he discovered they had departed Singapore for Frankfurt, Germany, and then taken a flight to the Romanian capital of Bucharest. They had booked their return for April 16.

He said that last December, his daughter had suggested visiting Europe to experience snow, but he was unwilling.

Mr Yap believes his daughter had planned on meeting a male friend she had met online. He said his wife and daughter had not booked any hotel, and suspects someone was at the airport to receive them.

He was later notified by his daughter's company that she had not applied for leave. Mr Yap, whose wife's birthday was last Saturday, had hoped for the pair's return by then.

In response to queries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) yesterday said it has approached the Romanian authorities to assist the family of the Singaporean women.

"Their safety is our immediate concern," said an MFA spokesman. "We are monitoring the case closely and will continue to keep in close touch with the family members."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 02, 2016, with the headline 'Woman and mum missing while on mystery Romania trip'. Print Edition | Subscribe