Dad in vigil for stolen sons

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http://www.thesundaymail.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,15582038%255E2765,00.html

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GOLD Coast father George Obiso is one of hundreds of Australians left suffering from a silent epidemic called parental abduction.

In the past few years, almost 1000 children have been kidnapped by their mothers or fathers, many of whom disappear overseas.

Australia now has the world's highest rate of these heart-wrenching abductions.

Six months ago, Mr Obiso's sons were taken by their mother and moved to a secret location in Japan.

Every day the 39-year-old IT expert contacts the Australian Federal Police and legal experts in a desperate bid to find his boys.

He's spent $50,000 trying to locate his children Anthony, 8, and Jorge, 5, but his story hasn't appeared on the news or sparked a national alert.

"The boy's mother stole them and took them out of the country," Mr Obiso said.

"She kidnapped them and disappeared in Japan but no one wants to know. I'm living in hell because I can't find my boys and even the police can't help me."

Mr Obiso is one of hundreds of Australians who lose their children to parental abductions every year.

Family Court of Australia figures show at least 905 have been kidnapped since January 2001.

In 2003-2004 more than 285 children were taken in Australia.

Some parents simply take their children and disappear. Many head to countries where child abduction laws are sketchy or non-existent.

Parents left in Australia endure months of legal action. Then, after weeks without their children, they are handed a Recovery Order giving them the right to retrieve their children, and are left to sort it out.

"I cry every day but struggle to keep working so I can fund the search for my sons," Mr Obiso said.

"I am going out of my mind with worry and sadness but all I have is a piece of paper that says if I find my kids I can bring them home."

Mr Obiso said the phone numbers his ex-wife Sachi Shimada provided have been disconnected.

He said relatives in Yokohama, where Ms Shimada took the boys to attend a wedding, no longer answer Mr Obiso's calls.

He hasn't heard a thing since his lawyer contacted Ms Shimada on February 13.

There have been no attempts to reclaim the $20,000 and a 2001 Toyota Corolla she left with the Brisbane Family Court as a bond.

"I told them she wouldn't come back and begged them to let her take just one of the boys so she would have to return," Mr Obiso said.

"But she left the car and some money and was allowed to go.

"So it doesn't cost much to buy two children these days."

Founder of Hug Ur (pronounced "your") Kids Organisation Geoff Day said hundreds of parents a year found themselves powerless to retrieve abducted children.

In the last year alone Mr Day, who hires investigators to retrieve children, has received more than 300 calls from Australians who believe their offspring have been taken interstate or overseas.

The 39-year-old former nurse, who created Hug Ur after his ex-wife's children from another marriage were kidnapped and taken to Malaysia, said it cost parents $50,000 to $200,000 to retrieve their children.

An Australian Federal Police spokesman said officers worked with family law courts and state police to try to find missing children.

"The AFP investigates matters that are subject to the Family Court Recovery Orders," the spokesman said.
Posted By:
Andrew
16/06/2005
Order:
Eeezhy (11 posts)
30/06/2005 15:59:55
re: Dad in vigil for stolen sons   profile
thx andrew for putting this one over here
Eeezhy (11 posts)
02/07/2005 04:13:29
re: Dad in vigil for stolen sons   profile
hi andrew im the person on this article. just wondering did u have any experience with the jap. law in regards of parental abduction?
and whats it like?
as u can see in the above article i might have to go to japan and deal with it
im just trying to arrange support with the australian govt.
can u give me some advice on what to do pls. any lawyers u can recommend

thx
Andrew (51 posts)
02/07/2005 09:15:11
re: Dad in vigil for stolen sons   profile
Hi George,

My own experience is different in that I was already living in Japan - it was not abduction per se, but it was separation, and then visitation agreements unenforced (effectively I was removed from my son).

To give you specific advice, I recommend you get a contact in Japan who can help you with the legal aspects (not necessarily a lawyer who are terribly expensive) - a person who can file documents and generally liase with the family court, and let you know what kind of action you can take. I have an excellent recommendation for you in terms of such a person :-

Mikiko Oyama - e-mail : mkoyama(at)wa2.so-net.ne.jp (at=@)

At the very least, she can organize an application to your wife's local family court for a mediation session for you and your wife to attend. The family courts aren't useful in any DIRECT way (IMHO), but they are the starting point for your legal action. I am not a lawyer, but as far as I know, you can put forward your case to the family court saying that in the interests of your children, your wife has made a terrible mistake in taking them to Japan without your consent, and that they were already settled in Australia. My point is this: if whatever the family courts decide go against you, you can appeal to the High Court who have much more power than the Family Courts in Japan. Even then, if the High Court decision goes against you, you can go to the Supreme Court of Japan. The family court is the start. Like I say, I am not a lawyer, but this is my understanding.

My advice is to lodge an application with your wife's local family court, then take it from there. You WILL need to use lawyers at some point, but in my experience Japanese lawyers are terribly expensive and you need to choose carefully.

Anyway, like I say - I'm not 100% qualified to give out advice like this - most of it's based on my own experiences - I hope someone else may be able to add some info here - in any case, good luck...

Edited 02/07/2005 09:16:17
Eeezhy (11 posts)
03/07/2005 12:45:30
re: Dad in vigil for stolen sons   profile
Thx and 1 more thing r u an admin over here? coz im having difficulty putting my kids picture in the missing parent / children area so what i did is send an email to the admin w/pictures and some info, maybe they can help me putt it there or something
once again thx mate
Eeezhy (11 posts)
14/07/2005 10:37:44
re: Dad in vigil for stolen sons   profile
to the admin can u reply on the above post please, sent u an email ages ago but i havent got any response. im only asking for help to put it in some info about my abducted kids in ur forum. a simple yes or no will do

thanks
Administrator (72 posts)
14/07/2005 13:36:03
re: Dad in vigil for stolen sons   profile
The answer is: absolutely, yes - you can post them to this site, and encourage other people to do so too.

Now I have to be a pain, and ask if you can send me by e-mail the photos again (couldn't find the e-mail in my inbox as I was away for a number of days and I may have accidentally deleted it as I had to delete lots of spam).....as soon as I receive them, I will post them to the missing children section.

Edited 14/07/2005 13:37:16
Eeezhy (11 posts)
15/07/2005 02:39:35
re: Dad in vigil for stolen sons   profile
to the admin, email has been sent

thx

george


FRIJ recommends you also visit crn japan, who are fighting international abduction to Japan and working to assure children in Japan of meaningful contact with both parents regardless of marital status