Please pray for that nine-year-old boy, and for his grandparents

Published: October 9, 2014 at 7:39pm

It is completely out of character for me to ask anybody to pray for anything or anyone, still less so publicly. I have always thought these matters are private. But in this case, I feel I must. Ryan Schembri is the focus of the news stories today, but when he absconded, he took with him his nine-year-old son and the boy’s mother.

The young woman’s parents, who I have known for many years, are completely distraught. They are civilised people, decent, good, who work hard for their living in a perfectly legitimate business, and who live an unpretentious life, but whose daughter met and married the wrong man. Not just the wrong man, but a very bad man.

Since 21 September, when their daughter and grandson vanished without a word and they realised that the scale of their son-in-law’s activities was such that he had absconded, taking them with him, they have lived in shock and fear that they will see neither daughter or grandson again, and that they will never know what happened or where they are. They are worried for the safety of both, but most of all, they are torn apart by the thought of their nine-year-old grandson, ripped away in confusion from everything he knew and from people he loves and who love him, without saying goodbye and with no explanation.

Try, if you can, to even begin to imagine the hell they are living through and will continue to live through, very possibly without closure, and pray that they will somehow find the strength to bear it.

Good and decent people who never harmed a fly, children…these are the collateral damage in the vicious pursuit of more and more money, by increasingly illegal or oblique means, for more and more material trash. As I wrote in the post immediately prior to this, I have no sympathy at all for the individuals who lost their money.

They were financing criminal activity posing – not at all convincingly – as legitimate business. They couldn’t not have known what their money was being used for. Meat? How much meat do 40 million euros buy? Where is a Maltese trader operating off Malta selling 40 million euros worth of meat? That’s the first meat I’ve heard of that comes in the form of white powder. The people who financed his business can go to hell, and if there is one, they probably will.

Money-grubbing scum.

That poor, poor boy, his poor silly mother, her poor suffering parents – may God help them all.

32 Comments Comment

  1. A.Attard says:

    He is with his parents his grandparents have no business interfering.

    [Daphne – What a bloody stupid thing to say. A boy who is on the run with his criminal father who is being pursued by some other very frightening criminals is not ‘with his parents so his grandparents have no business interfering’. Ryan Schembri did not abscond because he has civil debts to pay. It is easier and more sensible to file for bankruptcy than it is to disappear and spend your life on the run, especially when you will not be rendered homeless because you have extended family to help you out. No, Ryan Schembri fled because he fears for his life and because he was being threatened by the sort of people who have been shooting and killing each other over the last couple of years. It is not only the grandparents who have a direct and human concern in this matter, but the state does too. It is, might I remind you, a criminal act in and of itself to whisk a child away and keep him on the run without schooling or a proper home environment, to say nothing of exposing a young child to the dangers of criminal activity and criminal retribution, which renders one a totally unfit parent. Children are not their parents’ possessions, neither in law nor in fact.]

    • curious says:

      God forbid that I should ever cross paths with you or with someone who thinks like you do, A. Attard.

    • peanuts says:

      Good parents do not put their children’s lives in danger and good parents do not treat their own parents (the boy’s grandparents) like so much rubbish. And if you think that worrying over your grandson is interfering, I feel really sorry for you.

    • A+ says:

      A. Attard, what a disgusting and selfish frame of mind you have.

      • Alf says:

        A Attard, are you a grandparent? Are you a parent? Do you know what love is? Do you know what care is?

      • Denis says:

        Good to have you back, Mrs. Galizia.

        A.Attard, you are still years behind in the art of reason, parenthood and civil society. May God not only help this child and his mother but also you.

      • Rita Camilleri says:

        A.Attard – I sincerely hope you don’t have children.

    • Paul says:

      Kif ghandek il-wicc tghid li n-nanniet ma ghandomx dritt ‘jindahlu’?

      Jekk missier it-tifel huwa kriminali u hemm minn irid isibu biex ippattilu, u omm it-tifel forsi kellha kontra qalba tbaxxi rasha ghal dak li rrid zewgha, iva n-nanniet ghandhom kull dritt li jindahlu.

      J’Alla ma sibx ruhek f’istess sitwazzjoni A.Attard!

      • C C says:

        He didn’t abduct his wife, she left in her own accord. She must have her fingers in it too. Poor boy yes, but no grandparent has a right on their grandson. They might be worried but nothing more.

    • Monica S. says:

      Very well said Daphne! A parent’s first & foremost obligation to it’s child/children is to protect & never to put them in harm’s way. This individual is obviously very selfish & desperate. Having said this, his wife (the child’s mother) may not be innocent herself if she is accompanying her husband( not entirely against her will) as she is not only the child’s mother but, an adult & should also have her son’s best interest at heart! As a grandmother, I can fully comprehend the agonizing fear that the grandparents must be experiencing at the double disappearance/loss of both their daughter & grandson. I sincerely hope that the outcome to this tragic story will be a favourable one for all parties concerned!

  2. curious says:

    Honestly, the first thing that came to my mind when reading this news was the fate of this child. I thought he was younger.

    Being nine years old is worse because he can reason things out and would have established solid relationships with extended family and friends at school.

    He must be traumatised but I will keep on hoping that he is a courageous child and will get through this as safely as possible.

  3. jan says:

    I drive my grandchildren everyday, everywhere, wherever their parents ask me to. It IS my business to help my grandchildren, and their parents, in whichever way necessary.

    If I were this child’s grandparent I would do anything and everything in my power to knock out his errant dad and bring him and his mother back home where he would be able to grow up in a normal society and not in the criminal underworld.

    The Italian government is considering taking possession of the Mafia’s children so that they will grow up into normal citizens not into Mafia bosses.

  4. eve says:

    He took them away because they were threatened too, I assume.

  5. anthony says:

    The fact that this poor child is with his parents does not necessarily mean that the parents have the best interests of the child at heart.

    The boy obviously ended up with the wrong father nolens volens.

    The father is not behaving the way he is to protect his son but, selfishly, himself.

    If he were a real man he would have absconded and left his wife and son behind. No, he wanted to abscond in good company, the swine.

    Condemning them both to life as fugitives is not in the least funny.

    Let us all pray that he has second thoughts and that he allows his wife and son to go back to where they deserve to be.

    I was professionally involved in an identical case (almost) thirty years ago and I know very well what I am talking about.

    In my case the fugitive is still a fugitive and his life has been nothing less than sheer hell.

    • Grezz says:

      “allows his wife”?

      Let us hope that she will summon the strength, courage and ability to find a safe place for herself and for her son, to eventually come home. That is only possible, of course, if she is not threatened by him or held captive.

      She must realise that even if they are in the middle of nowhere and even if he has hidden their passports, she should try to escape from wherever they are, along with their son, even if in the dead of night, with or without their passports, and somehow try to get in touch with the police wherever she is.

      She may be reflecting on her current situation and thinking that she may be charged with being a party to her husband’s crimes, but the safety and emotional well-being of her son should come first and foremost.

      And she should also spare a thought for her family, who are, we hear, distraught.

      Her son alone deserves that, if nobody else.

    • Tabatha White says:

      I think in this case the fugitive will be realtively safe with a second identity provided by cousinKasco who controls the passport scam with stated discrepencies in the numbers of passports issued.

      The Sicily trail will have been a diversion.

      With a stash of that size, you take a private plane to your destination/s.

      Children adapt relatively well in whatever situation they’re put.

      I don’t think we’re looking at someone who plans to be on the move whilst being on the run.

      He will probably lie low for the next 6 to 8 years.

      In his absence, his partner will be freed of commercial blame.

      Her poor parents didn’t know a thing, but there is no way I’m buying the story that Kasco had nothing to do with it.

      I’ll even put forward the theory that Ryan is one of his scapegoats.

      Facilitation and all intangibles to deals are also involvement.

  6. Pro says:

    That’s precisely what I was telling my husband…. God have mercy on his children if any have been taken with him.

    I simply can’t imagine the kind of ordeal that he’s putting his son through.

  7. Aunt Hetty says:

    That 9 year old should be at school, not living the life of a fugitive.

  8. Me again says:

    Daphne, could it be that the grandparents do know where they are but they’re not telling so as to protect them?

    [Daphne – No.]

  9. White coat says:

    I’m praying Daphne, but as the old Maltese saying goes: >Ghin ruhek biex Alla jighnek< It's the police that need to do the footwork; then God will surely help.

  10. Brian says:

    Don’t tell me that the other shareholders were oblivious to his dark dealings. Forty million euros – what, for meat?

    • Paul says:

      Dak li qal l-partner fil business mieghu. Li hu kien l-ewwel wiehed li Schembri dahaq bih u llum il-gurnata qieghed lampa stampa.

      Dan skond ma qal hu f’gazzetta lokali llum.

  11. Ivan says:

    I pray for this little boy who has landed in this terrible situation.

    Wouldn’t a wife be surprised at seeing her husband getting million after million? Is it possible that it never crossed her mind that her husband was conducting ‘strange’ activities to say the least?

    Unless she was threatened not to speak up, I feel that she was happy living it off the millions ‘earned’ by her husband.

    Reminds me of a certain Mona Camilleri:

    [Daphne – She didn’t have that exceptional a lifestyle. Like you I think that women in these situations are active collaborators or deliberately blind because they don’t want to see, more than happy to live off the proceeds of crime without asking too many questions. But very rarely, they are victims of the situation, having been picked for their inability to put two and two together, in much the same way that violent men consciously pick passive types who won’t hit them back and walk out.]

  12. M says:

    Turning a blind eye has become such a way of life in Malta, especially the ‘higher’ you go in society, that many have become enablers of crime in refusing to believe that some day they or their loved ones can very will be the victims.

    So even if they are complete self-serving egoists and have not been scathed this time, they might not be so lucky in the future.

    But with those in power unashamedly rubbing shoulders with law-breakers, whoremongers and drug-dealers, giving them patronage and posing for photos with them, what hope do we have?

  13. dora says:

    i have known ryans family all my life his mother and I grew up togethere and attended the same school they are decent people too and ryan as a child attended a private school and was a well behaved child they lived in marsaskal but than we lost contact as I moved away probably Ryan got mixed up with the wrong pepole may God help them and may he come back so justice may prevail

  14. anon says:

    If the Malta police work with Interpol it shouldn’t be impossible to find them. However the mother is an adult, she made a choice too so she shares the blame. I am only sorry for that innocent boy and worrying grandparents.

  15. Martin Felice says:

    The individuals who invested and now find themselves screwed should be investigated and asked how much they had invested and from where they acquired the money.

  16. Joe Diacono says:

    Prayer the most powerful gift we have. Thank you for sharing. If this world were ruled by love not hate, care and not anger, then we would be such a better world. A simple smile is all that it takes.

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