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Demafelis’ employer arrested in Lebanon

Updated
By Roy Mabasa
The person allegedly responsible for the death of a Filipino household service worker found inside a freezer in Kuwait earlier this month has been arrested.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano (FEDERICO CRUZ / MANILA BULLETIN)

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano (FEDERICO CRUZ / MANILA BULLETIN)

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Nader Essam Assaf, a Lebanese national, who together with his wife, Mona, a Syrian national, are the principal suspects in the brutal torture and murder of Joanna Demafelis in Kuwait more than a year ago is now in the custody of authorities in Lebanon,

Assaf and his wife have been the subject of an Interpol manhunt after Kuwaiti authorities discovered early this month the battered body of Demafelis inside a freezer in the couple’s abandoned apartment unit more than a year after her family reported her missing.

Kuwaiti authorities conveyed the arrest of Assaf to Ambassador Renato Villa during a meeting at the Ministry of Interior Thursday, the DFA said.

In that meeting, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Al-Tarah, Assistant Undersecretary for General Security Affairs, disclosed to Ambassador Villa that Interpol Lebanon had notified Interpol Kuwait that Assaf is now in custody but that his wife is still at large and is believed to be in Syria.

Kuwaiti authorities requested the assistance of Interpol in locating and arresting the couple who they believed fled to Lebanon or Syria shortly after the torture and murder of Demafelis.

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