La disparition de l'enseignante australienne liée au Luxembourg reste mystérieuse. La lumière sur cette affaire pourrait être faite fin mai.
The disappearance of the Australian teacher linked to Luxembourg remains mysterious. The light on this case could be shed at the end of May.
The case of an Australian woman who has been missing since 1997, whose disappearance has hitherto unexplained links with Luxembourg, is experiencing a new twist. A New South Wales Australian State Attorney hearing has been trying since June 2021 to determine the whereabouts of teacher Marion Barter.
In November 2022, the proceedings were suspended sine die shortly before the date set for their conclusion. A few days earlier, the Luxemburger Wort
had reported on the scam of a Belgian pensioner, whose case has significant similarities with that of Marion Barter.
A new date has now been announced for the end of May. A letter from the New South Wales government, a copy of which was obtained by the Luxemburger Wort
, read: " The inquest into the disappearance and presumed death of Marion Barter
, also known as Florabella Natalia Marion Remakel , will be reopened in May. A three-day hearing before Magistrate Judge Theresa O'Sullivan will begin on May 31, 2023 at 10 a.m. (local time). According to information from the daily The Australian
, other witnesses will be heard on this occasion.
Ric Blum, a key figure
In the meantime, it is above all the pressure on a key figure in the trial which has increased considerably following numerous press articles in Luxembourg, Belgium and Australia. Belgian-born Ric Blum, a witness at the hearing since February 2022, admitted having had an affair with Marion Barter in 1997. However, he claims not to be involved in the disappearance of the latter.
Ric Blum, born Willy Wouters in Tournai in 1939, has a long criminal record for various thefts and frauds. Over the past 50 years he has used several dozen pseudonyms, some of which have been officially registered in Australia. In his police file, there is an arrest in Wiltz in 1976 or 1977 under the name of Roger Lauzoney. The police found another passport in his home in the name of Frederick de Hedervary. When questioned, the Luxembourg prosecutor's office and the National Archives have not yet been able to confirm this fact.
The name change is a lead to Luxembourg
Shortly before her disappearance, Marion Barter also had her name changed - to Florabella Remakel. Blum had already used the same surname in the 1980s, after “stealing” it from a Luxembourger. Barter's release papers indicated that she planned to live in Luxembourg in the future, where she most likely never arrived. Since the summer of 1997, there has been no trace of this woman, then 51 years old.
Ric Blum ran since 1980, probably under the name of Fredy David, the furniture store "L'Européenne du Meuble" in Noertzingen, next to an electronics store called "Mobigros". This is also what he said during the hearing.
Several women have spoken since the beginning of the proceedings and said that Blum had stolen significant sums of money from them under different assumed names, but using similar scam schemes. The Luxemburger Wort
spoke during the winter of 2021 and the spring of 2022 with two Belgian retirees who claim to have lost a total of more than 200,000 euros to the scammer in 2006 and 2012, partly in cash and partly by the theft of valuables, jewelry and securities.
Ric Blum denies these accusations. In the Marion Barter case, he is not currently accused of any crime, but will be heard as a witness.
Do you know this man?
Ric Blum, “the man of many names”, has links to Luxembourg which have not yet been fully disclosed. He stole the identity of a Luxembourg citizen and used it since 1988, he was probably arrested in Wiltz in 1976. From 1980 to 1983 he lived with his family in Itzig and ran a furniture store in Noertzange.
Do you remember a man named Roger Lauzoney, Ric West, Richard Lloyd Westbury, Frederick de Hedervary or Fredy David? Do you remember "L'Européenne du Meuble" or "Mobigros" in the industrial zone of Noertzange, route de Kayl?
In this case, do not hesitate to contact us. Confidentiality assured: [email protected]
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