Singaporean who went missing in Greece

The New Paper
Saturday, Oct 08, 2011

THE whereabouts of the Singaporean who went missing in Greece are still unclear.

In the meantime, the family of 28-year-old Kouk Leong Jin has flown over to look for him.

The group consists of his 28-year-old wife, Ms Seow Shu Ping, his parents and his younger brother.

A dean from his university is also with them.

They are staying at the Golden Age Hotel in Athens, the same hotel Mr Kouk stayed at before he went missing.

Mr Kouk, a fourth-year student at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, was supposed to attend a medical conference in Greece last Wednesday.

But there has been no word on his whereabouts since Tuesday night.

In an e-mail sent on the day he disappeared, he had said he might visit “some islands”.

Online travel websites reveal that the closest islands to Athens are the Saronic islands.

This group of islands are located off the Greek mainland and can be reached by ferry in a matter ofhours.

They are known for their natural beauty and cleansandy beaches, and are popular destinations for day trips and weekend trips.

The boutique hotel Mr Kouk was staying at is located at one of the safest and most accessible areas of Athens.

As of yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was still working closely with the Greek authorities to locate Mr Kouk.

The ministry is doing so through the Singapore Honorary Consulate in Athens, the Greek Ambassador to Singapore and Interpol channels.

Other organisations – such as The Smile of the Child, which deals with abused and missing children in Athens – have also chipped in.

Its president, Mr Coatas Yannopoulos, told The New Paper yesterday that Mr Kouk had stayed in a standard room and didn’t have any guests.

“We’re still trying very hard to find him. It’s been very tough for his family. They still don’t know if he is dead or alive,” said Mr Yannopoulos.

He said that Mr Kouk was spotted by three people – in his hotel and on the streets – just before his disappearance.

No other clues

There have been no other clues.

Mr Kouk’s credit cards have not been used since the day he disappeared.

There have been no records of him being admitted to a hospital in Greece.

There is also no CCTV system in the hotel.

The hotel’s staff called the police about Mr Kouk after noticing that the things in his room had been left untouched for days, said Mr Yannopoulos.

The officer in charge of the investigations in Greece told TNP yesterday that investigations were still ongoing and there were no updates.

The telecommunications company Cosmote, in Greece, has also been contacted about Mr Kouk’s last known location.

Over 3,000 Facebook users have “liked” the Facebook page that was set up to help spread the news of Mr Kouk’s disappearance.

Some users posted suggestions about how to locate him. Others said that they would pray for him. Mr Kouk was last heard from at about 10.40pm last Tuesday.

He had called his friend, Mr Neo Ghim Hoe, 28, who was also due to attend the same conference. But Mr Neo was preoccupied at the time and missed the call.

When Mr Neo learnt about this call, he felt it was too late to return it.

The following morning – the first day of the conference – Mr Neo called Mr Kouk, but could not reach him.

Mr Neo had told TNP earlier: “If only I had taken LJ’s (Leong Jin) call.”

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