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  1. #1
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    China - Ani Ashekian, 31, Hong Kong, 11 Nov 2008 - Canadian tourist

    Ani went missing from Chungking Mansions in China, a heavily touristy and populated place. She was traveling alone. This missing persons case is very strange and is one I have been following, though nothing much has really happened. There are lots of articles and information at her website http://www.findani.com/


    Basic Overview:
    Ani Ashekian has been missing in Hong Kong since November 11, 2008 and authorities on the case have appealed for public assistance. Ashekian flew from Toronto to Beijing on Friday, October 24, 2008 and was scheduled return via India on December 15 but she has not been seen since November 10.

    Ashekian's passport indicates that she entered Hong Kong on November 9 and that she has not left Hong Kong. Ani was last seen in Chungking Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui on the morning of November 10. Hong Kong Police confirmed via CCTV footage that a cash withdrawal (HK$3000/CAD$470) was made by Ani at just after midnight on November 10 in the Causeway Bay MTR station. Records show no further transactions on her bank accounts since that date.

    On 10 November, Ani called her sister and sent a text with a birthday message for her niece. Family and friends who heard from her regularly until then have had no contact since. The Foreign Affairs Department was contacted and Canadian authorities made a report to the Hong Kong Police on December 9, who made a public appeal for assistance.

    Unconfirmed reports place Ani throughout the territory, including Chung King Mansion, Causeway Bay, Wanchai, Lan Kwai Fong, Black’s Link, Po Lin Monastery, Tung Chung, Prince Edward, Yuen Long and the New Territories. The police continue to work closely with a team of local volunteers, actively following up leads received by telephone, email, people approaching volunteers on street and on the Facebook group, “Missing: Ani Ashekian” which has 12,945 members.

    Ani is 31, 1.6 metres (5’ 4”) tall, of normal build and weighs about 54kg (120lbs) with light complexion and brown hair. She was last seen wearing a white shirt and carrying a backpack.

    Anyone who may have seen her is urged to contact the Hong Kong Island Regional Crime Unit at 2860 7834 or any police station.

  2. #2
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    Siblings of missing Canadian revive search

    http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher...224960&start=1

    Copyright 2011 South China Morning Post Ltd.
    August 21, 2011 Sunday
    John Carney john.carney@scmp.com

    As the third anniversary of the disappearance of Canadian tourist Ani Ashekian approaches, her two sisters are visiting Hong Kong, hoping to reignite the campaign to find her.

  3. #3
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    I just stumbled across this case today....not sure how I missed it originally.

    These kind of cases, where a young person is traveling on the other side of the world, and then simply disappears, are heartwrenching. It is so challenging for their families to find out what happened.

    A couple of other cases like these that I've followed here on WS are:
    Nicole Vienneau's case (missing in Syria - especially challenging spot right now!) and Aubrey Sacco (missing in Nepal).

    As Ani has been missing for three years now, some of the news articles are starting to disappear, so I think it would help to capture key points from a few of them here on the forum.

    First, here is an interesting article from Time magazine about Ani's case, written on the one-year anniversary of her disappearance. The bestselling author, Michael Connelly, took an interest in Ani's case, as the plot of one of his novels was eerily similar, and took place in the same location. He describes Chungking Mansions, where Ani was seen on the last day of contact with her family, and it's atmosphere.

    Mathews has counted 129 different nationalities that have stayed in the building over the past three years. "It's a world center of low-end globalization — not the globalization of Coca-Cola or Sony, but the globalization of Africa and South Asia," Mathews says. Ashekian, a Canadian citizen of South Asian descent, would not have stood out in the building's diverse crowd.
    Commercial closed-circuit televisions usually run on a 24- or 48-hour loop, but Ashekian's disappearance wasn't reported until she missed her flight home on Dec. 15. The camera recordings at Chungking Mansions and elsewhere would have been wiped clean.
    http://www.time.com/time/world/artic...937140,00.html
    Any man's death diminishes me,
    Because I am involved in mankind,
    Therefore, send not to know, for whom the bell tolls;
    It tolls for thee.
    ~John Dunne


    #TeamCivilization

  4. #4
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    What a vibrant young woman.






    Ani Ashekian:
    163cm tall / 5' 4" | 55kg/120lb | Age 31 | Canadian Accent

    These photos are from the "Find Ani" website set up by her family. They were apparently taken in Beijing, where Ani was traveling immediately prior to heading to Hong Kong.

    http://www.findani.com/#Missing%20in%20Hong%20Kong
    Any man's death diminishes me,
    Because I am involved in mankind,
    Therefore, send not to know, for whom the bell tolls;
    It tolls for thee.
    ~John Dunne


    #TeamCivilization

  5. #5
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    Of all the cases where it has been alleged that someone was taken for the sex trade industry, I think this is the only authentic instance. It is most likely that she met someone with an agenda, was lured into a situation where she was incapacitated and then she was moved to the sex trade trap ... where women are kept perpetually drugged and enslaved. I would be surprised if she is still alive, but it's possible. She could be anywhere in Asia by now.

  6. #6
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    Timeline:

    Oct 24/2008: Ani and two friends from work travel to Beijing.

    Oct 30/08: Ani checks out of the Beijing YWCA. She doesn't share her remaining travel plans with her companions (something her sister says is not out of the ordinary).

    Nov 9/08: Ani makes a withdrawal from an ATM in Beijing

    Nov 9: Ani arrives in Hong Kong.

    Nov 10, in morning: Ani is seen at Chungking Mansions, a massive high rise area, with many hostels popular with backpacking travelers.

    Nov 10: Ani makes a call to her sister and then texts birthday wishes to her niece, the last contact her family or friends had with her.


    Nov 11: (very early hours; just after midnight) Ani is caught on CCTV withdrawing money from an ATM at the Causeway Bay MTR subway station. She appears to be looking over her shoulder. (Ani's VISA statement shows that Ani made two separate cash advances from Causeway Bay MTR station ATM's on Nov 10. It is not clear that they whether or not they were made under duress. Her family has identified her from the ATM video photos.)

    Over the next couple of days Ani's family and friends become concerned, as there is no contact with Ani, which is out of character.

    ??: Ani's family contacts Canadian Foreign Affairs.

    Dec 9: Canadian officials file a report with the Hong Kong police.

    Dec 15: Ani does not board her flight home to Canada from New Delhi, India. There is no official record of her leaving Hong Kong.

    Dec 24: Hong Kong police make a public appeal for assistance.

    There has been no cell phone of bank activity since Ani's disappearance.
    Last edited by Snoopster; 12-27-2011 at 12:55 PM. Reason: clarifying points
    Any man's death diminishes me,
    Because I am involved in mankind,
    Therefore, send not to know, for whom the bell tolls;
    It tolls for thee.
    ~John Dunne


    #TeamCivilization

  7. #7
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    http://youtu.be/xqOUqCGlsbo

    Here is a youtube video with the last known images of Ani, at the bank machine. Apparently the two withdrawals that she made were at 12:03 a.m. and 12:08 a.m.
    Any man's death diminishes me,
    Because I am involved in mankind,
    Therefore, send not to know, for whom the bell tolls;
    It tolls for thee.
    ~John Dunne


    #TeamCivilization

  8. #8
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    27,178
    There's a book called People Who Eat Darkness about women that disappear or are drugged and abused in Japan. It shows the underbelly of a society that views wives in one category and foreign women in a different light.

  9. #9
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    Found this case while looking for info. on an Asian, former U of T student who lived in Toronto, named " Ken" who might have info. regarding a missing person case from the 80's.
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...g-persons-case
    Canada - Toronto police seek "Ken" for info about 1980's missing persons case
    This is the article that brought me to this thread..
    http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/l...e-vanish-every


    Hong Kong’s missing persons: thousands of people vanish every year but the police don’t keep official records

    An average of 4,818 people are reported missing every year in Hong Kong - but we don’t know how many for sure, as the police don’t keep official records

    24 January, 2016

    Another mysterious case happened in 2008, but this time involved a tourist.

    Ani Ashekian, a Canadian paralegal , was travelling alone when she disappeared. She entered Hong Kong on November 9, but there is no record of her leaving the city.

    Ani, 30 at the time, was seen at Chungking Mansions on November 10, before she withdrew money from an ATM inside the Causeway Bay MTR station.

    Family and friends never heard from her ever since. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been given any new information,” her boyfriend at the time, Wenddell Walsh, told the Post by email.

    But despite the years that went by, he said: “Ani was an amazing person, so I will never give up hope that she will return home safely.”
    Last edited by dotr; 07-27-2016 at 12:31 PM.

  10. #10
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    http://www.police.gov.hk/ppp_en/06_a...ihkirn08001236
    Welcome to The Hong Kong Police website

    mp256.jpg
    Ani Ashekian
    Missing Person:
    Canadian / Female ANI ASHEKIAN

    Description(at the time of missing):
    30 years, 1.63 m tall, 119 lbs, normal build, white complexion, pointed face, long curl brown hair, Tattoo on bikini line and front left hip.

    Missing Since:
    2008-11-10

    Last seen wearing:
    White shirt with a rucksack.

    Remarks:
    The above missing person visit Hong Kong as a tourist. The MP was last seen at Chung King Mansion, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong in the morning on 2008-11-10 and lost contact since then.

    If anyone has any information about this missing person, please contact Regional Missing Persons Unit of Hong Kong Island on Tel 2860 7834 or any Police Station or email to rmpu-hki@police.gov.hk

    Reference No:
    HKI RN 08001236
    Last edited by dotr; 07-27-2016 at 12:40 PM.


  11. #11
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    Bumping for Ani and hoping she will be located soon.

  12. #12
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    Interesting article
    http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/a...-years-silence

    Snippet from article:

    She had left her journal behind in Canada. It details her state of mind before leaving.

    Shirra [Private investigator] passed the book to a police psychologist because he was concerned about her state of mind before her disappearance.

    Over the course of his investigation, he also found Ashekian had been acting strangely and had spoken about going to Argentina, where she said she had a job lined up. She also emptied at least one of her bank accounts.

    "This new information [journal] turned the investigation on its head in a way, because it did begin to look as though there was a possibility that she did actually plan to drop out and disappear," the [private investigator] said. "But this doesn't solve the problem as none of us believe that she could just drop out in Hong Kong and not come to somebody's attention."
    [Private investigator] also found out she spoke Portuguese. He requested local police find out from Macau authorities whether they had any record of her arriving there, although Hong Kong had no travel records of her leaving. The police have not replied yet.

    Chungking Mansions is a huge complex including guest houses, market, stalls, etc. with many hundreds of people, including illegal immigrants, passing thru constantly. If something happened to Ani there is seems it would be nearly impossible to trace. It is not a safe place for a single woman to stay alone. It is a hub of drug dealing and illegal activity. People go there to obtain fake passports, drugs, prostitutes.

    I watched the security video of the ATM withdrawals. It is after midnight and Ani is dressed casually. It doesn't appear she was dressed in "going out" attire and taking out cash to pay for drinks, food, etc. The 2 withdrawals within minutes is puzzling, unless she was limited in how much she could take out at a time. I wonder if she was in some kind of trouble and needed money to get out of it? Many possibilities here, and many unanswered questions.

    1. She stayed at Chungking mansions because it was cheap and ran in to foul play while staying there due to criminal elements there
    2. She stayed at Chungking mansions because she needed something from there-new passport for new life?
    3. Something happened to her in another part of Hong Kong and Chungking has nothing to do with her disappearance. If she was withdrawing cash to go sightseeing she would not have left an electronic trail of the next day's tourist activities.
    4. What exactly was this "state of mind" that is concerning? Did she write about being depressed and wanting to start a new life? What do people mean exactly when they say she was "acting strangely" before the trip?
    5. Who are the people she was traveling with before she went to Hong Kong alone, and do they have any insight into Ani's plans or state of mind?
    Last edited by MysteryMaven; 08-30-2016 at 02:28 PM. Reason: clarification

  13. #13
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    Wondering if AA had become newly interested in politics or religion before she left Canada, or perhaps met someone new?
    imo, speculation.

  14. #14
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    Just did a quick map check.
    The train station is across the bay from where Ani was staying. What was she doing there so late at night? Was she coming in from somewhere or going to someplace else?

  15. #15
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