Dutch woman, 19, missing on Cuba

Anouk van Luijk, missing in Cuba since 21 July 2018
Anouk van Luijk, missing in Cuba since 21 July 2018Photo: Wim van Luijk / Facebook

Anouk van Luijk has been missing on Cuba for several days. The 19-year-old woman from Hellevoetsluis was supposed to fly back to the Netherlands on Saturday, but never showed up for her flight. Her family hasn't heard from her since Saturday, her father Wim van Luijk said in a Facebook post, that has since been shared nearly 8 thousand times.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs knows about Anouk's disappearance and is in contact with her family, a spokesperson said to RTL Nieuws. "The Dutch embassy on Cuba is currently looking into what is going on."

Anouk traveled to Cuba on her own on July 7th, her father said on Facebook. She last had contact with her family at around 2:00 p.m. on July 21st. "We think she was in the area of Havana or in Campo Florido at that moment. She told us she lost her bank card and was without money since Wednesday July 18. She also felt sick and suffered diarrhea. Without money, food and a place to sleep, we advised her to go to the Dutch Embassy, but she never arrived. Her flight back was July 21, but also here she did not arrive."

The young woman contacted her family multiple times a day, but since Saturday there's been complete radio silence. "We are afraid something serious happened to her."

The family contacted the police, the Dutch embassy on Cuba, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Interpol, but so far little has been done, according to Wim van Luijk. "We have reported her missing, but the police only wants to take action if there is a crime or life threatening situation", he wrote on Facebook. "Sofar Interpol is also not taking any action." A Dutch embassy employee told him that there are many tourists on Cuba and it is not the role of the Embassy to call hospitals and hotels, Van Luijk said. "The only person being very cooperative is the representative from Foreign Affairs."

Wim van Luijk hopes that by distributing the details of his daughter's disappearance, someone currently in Cuba can shed some light on her whereabouts. "Hopefully Anouk will give a sign of life and this all appears to be a nightmare. But until then we continue the search for our daughter and hope someone can help us."

Anouk's family is taking into account that she might be in a hospital somewhere, Wim said to RTL Nieuws. He is flying to Cuba on Wednesday to go look for Anouk himself.