10:59AM, Sunday 19 April 2015
A Slough family have been reported missing and police believe they may be making their way to Syria.
Asif Malik, 31, his partner Sara Kiran, 29, their seven-year-old daughter Zoha Malik and sons Essa Malik, four, Zakariva Malik, two and Yahya Malik, one, were last seen on Tuesday, April 7.
They were reported missing on Thursday.
Police say Asif and Sara left Slough without mentioning any holiday or travel plans to their family, which the force says is ‘entirely out of character.’
It has been established that they boarded a ferry from Dover to Calais, France, at 12.30am on Wednesday, April 8.
Intelligence suggests they travelled south, through Europe, possibly by train.
Police believe they travelled through Budapest, Hungary, on or around Sunday, April 12.
Due to concerns voiced by Asif’s family, and online rhetoric from the so-called Islamic State, Thames Valley Police suspects they may be attempting to reach Syria
Thames Valley Police Acting Deputy Chief Constable, John Campbell said: “We are extremely concerned for the safety of this family, especially the four young children.
"We are reaching out to Asif and Sara, in the hope that they hear our messages and we encourage them to make contact with us so we can return them safely to their families who are extremely worried about them.
“We would urge anyone with information about the family’s whereabouts to come forward and speak to police so the family can safely return to the UK. Anyone with information should call Thames Valley Police on 101 quoting reference number 342 (19/4).
“We would ask anyone who saw the family as they travelled to Dover, waiting at the port, on the ferry or when they arrived at Calais to contact the police. Any piece of information, no matter how small, could help the UK or European authorities to locate the family so that they can be safely returned home to their loved ones.
“Police have been working with the family of Asif and our colleagues and partners since they were reported missing in an attempt to locate the family and return them to their loved ones.
“We are concerned about anyone who has or is intending to travel to the part of Syria that is controlled by the terrorist group calling themselves Islamic State. It is an extremely dangerous place and not a place where young children should be taken.
“The choice of returning home from Syria is often taken away from those under the control of Islamic State, leaving families in the UK devastated and with very few options to secure their loved ones safe return.
"Asif and Sara need to know their family are very concerned and want them to return to the UK.
“Anyone with any information about where the family are should call Thames Valley Police on 101 quoting reference number 342 (19/4).
“Anyone who is concerned that a family member may be contemplating travelling to Syria should contact police and partners via the free phone Anti-Terrorist Hotline number on 0800 789 321 or from outside the UK by calling 0044 1865 841 148 so that we can intervene and help. This is not about criminalising people it is about preventing tragedies by offering support to the young and vulnerable.”
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