Fifty-year-old Carole Waugh left her London home in early May to go shopping. She hasn’t been seen since. A former oil executive who worked for some years in Libya, Miss Waugh lived alone in here $1million flat in the capital’s Marylebone district. Since here disappearance her bank account has been plundered and property removed from her flat.
It’s a mystery that is getting more mysterious by the day. The police are now investigating aspects of her private life. It seems she was looking for love and may have been a regular visitor to a number of dating sites. But the story is even more bizarre, for Scotland Yard detectives have confirmed that she may have worked as an escort. “We know that she met men through a variety of internet sites including dating sites”, a police spokesperson said, “and prostitution is a line of inquiry.”
The obvious question is why would a wealthy woman go into this line of work? But, of course, the police are obliged to travel down every path, even if some paths lead to a dead wall. It is really difficult to speculate here, but the more obvious possibility, supported by the raids on her personal assets, is that she has been kidnapped by a gang who have forced her to reveal her financial details including her PIN.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds have been taken from her account and three women have attempted to pose as her. Also a significant amount of her personal property has gone missing, though no details have been released.
So far a total of nine people have been arrested in connection with Miss Waugh’s disappearance, the latest on Friday in North London. No details have been released but he is still being held in custody. One man, unemployed Rakesh Bhayani, has been charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.
Miss Waugh’s family realised she was missing when she failed to show for her planned fiftieth birthday party in June. Since then neighbours have reported a large number of strangers coming and going from her flat.
One of the suspects in the case, a white man in his 50s, walked into Foxtons estate agents in Marylebone posing as her brother, and put her flat on the market. He was seen outside the property with an estate agent on at least one occasion.
Miss Waugh’s family are now extremely concerned for her welfare. Her 78-year-old mother, whom she was in the habit of talking to every day on the phone, is said to be too upset and exhausted to speak. In a recent public appeal Chris Waugh, her brother said, “We are all very concerned about Carole. Her disappearance is completely out of character…I appeal to anybody that has worked with Carole, socialised with Carole; has met or knows of her, to come forward with any small bit of information they may have and assist our family – as that information may fit into the jigsaw that could help us to locate Carole sooner rather than later.”
The fraudulent activity on her account began not long after her disappearance. Detective Chief Inspector John McFarlane of the Metropolitan Police Homicide and Serious Crime team is leading the missing person investigation. He said recently
Ms Waugh is a successful businesswoman and her disappearance is completely out of character. There have been a number of sightings of her but I have not been able to confirm them at this stage. The last time she had any contact with her family was on April 17. I’m very concerned for her safety and I appeal to anyone who has known her since she returned from Libya in 2008 to get in touch with us as soon as possible.
Call girl or not, mystery continues to hang over Miss Waugh’s private life. She apparently told her family that she was planning a trip to Las Vegas with some unnamed female friends. So far, despite appeals, none of these people have come forward. A happy outcome to this case looks increasingly unlikely.