Tuesday 20 August 2019

Mystery donor offers cash to fund Nora reward

Nora Quoirin with her mother Meabh
Nora Quoirin with her mother Meabh

Niamh Horan and Maeve Sheehan

The parents of Irish girl Nora Quoirin are considering offering a reward to find their missing daughter, an informed source has said.

As the search for the 15-year-old enters its eighth day in Malaysia, the source said an anonymous donor had offered to fund a reward for information.

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Nora's parents Meabh and Sebastien, who believe their daughter was abducted, are understood to have discussed the move with Royal Malaysian Police.

Jim Gamble, a former police officer who is advising the Quoirin family, urged them to "consider the benefits of a financial incentive as a motivator and, if there is a criminal element to this, then it could help prompt someone's conscience".

An elite team of Garda hostage and kidnap specialists are on standby to join the search if evidence emerges that Nora was abducted. Gardai discussed the move with Department of Justice officials last week, a source said.

The detectives are with the National Negotiation Unit and are highly trained in kidnaps, violent stand-offs and negotiations. They are regularly deployed overseas to secure the release of Irish citizens and work with the Department of Foreign Affairs. The Garda's Interpol liaison officer was sent to Malaysia last Friday.

Hundreds of people are involved in looking for the teenager, who was born with the brain defect holoprosencephaly and has special needs.

Nora's mother Meabh thanked the searchers. "You have given up your time especially at a special festival time," she said, referring to Hari Raya Haji, the Islamic "festival of sacrifice" celebrations.

Negeri Sembilan police chief Deputy Commissioner Datuk Mohamad Mat Yusop said some of those involved in the search had attended Hari Raya Haji prayers on Sunday morning at a nearby mosque.

"However, this will not hamper the search," he said.

A total of 317 search and rescue personnel were deployed on Saturday, with the search continuing through the night.

"So far, we have no credible leads on where she is but we will continue with the search. We are accepting information from all parties and our investigation is exploring all angles," Mr Mohamad told reporters at the site.

Mr Mohamad said there was no evidence to indicate that Nora had been abducted, the local Star publication reported.

"We are very worried about her safety. We don't know how long she can survive. The team is working diligently day and night to find her as soon as possible," he said.

The police have checked the background of people in the area for criminal records.

"We have also questioned several people as well as checked the homes of hotel staff. There is also no evidence that anyone has sighted Nora Anne anywhere," he said.

Additional reporting by PA

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