Iryna Tarakan reunited with children after dad took them to Lebanon
IRYNA Tarakan agreed to a run-of-the-mill request familiar to most parents in shared custody arrangements.
Her estranged husband called on a Monday night in late 2014 to ask if he could keep the former couple’s two boys just one more night. She said yes, but the decision cost her dearly.
The next day Tony Sukkar fled to Lebanon with the children, aged two and five at the time.
Last month, more than three years and four months on, she finally got them both back.
On Facebook, Ms Tarakan shared a photo of her and her “little man”.
“Thank you to everyone who supported me through this nightmare,” she wrote.
Her “nightmare” ordeal during the Christmas period in 2014 is remarkably similar to the story of Sally Faulkner and the much-publicised failed abduction attempt concocted by the team at 60 Minutes.
On that occasion, journalists including veteran reporter Tara Brown were arrested and charged before later being released from a Lebanese prison. Ms Faulkner continues to fight to get her children back.
Ms Tarakan is believed to have enlisted the help of Colin Chapman, the same “child recovery expert” Ms Faulkner consulted with.
Beneath a photograph of Iryna and her son he wrote: “Congratulations. Happy to have been a part of it all.” She responded by thanking him. “It’s been a nightmare for me,” she wrote. “Really appreciate all your help.”
News.com.au has reached out to Mr Chapman for comment.
Ms Tarakan and her family were reunited in Sydney on March 15. In an interview with The Australian, she said she had “been through hell” and was “so glad it’s over”.
She said she was overwhelmed when she finally saw her son again after all those years.
“I fell on my knees and I hugged him and started to cry and scream. I was pretty emotional. He didn’t hug me, his eyes were wide open, he was shocked.”
In January of 2015, Ms Tarakan told Seven News she split from Mr Sukkar a year before her children were taken to Lebanon, where he has family.
“At first I was just shocked and didn’t know what to do and then you wake up in the morning and your kids are not there,” she said.
The Australian reports that Ms Tarakan travelled to Dubai in October 2015 to meet her former husband with plans to bring the boys home with her. But Mr Sukkar had left the youngest with family in Beirut.
She took her eldest son after Mr Sukkar left his hotel to get food and hid in a toilet cubicle at the airport for an hour just in case authorities intervened.
It wasn’t until February when she returned to Beirut where she was granted a court order to bring her youngest son home. She told the newspaper she struggled to find him, scouring the neighbourhood where Mr Sukkar used to live.
“Every day I used to walk through the streets in Beirut, up and down … looking up in the balconies, thinking maybe he’s sitting there, maybe he’s playing.”
Unsuccessful on her own, police helped reunite mother and son, allegedly arresting a relative who was hiding him.
“He’s beautiful,” Ms Tarakan said. “He’s calling me Mum now.”
The Australian spoke with Mr Sukkar, who is back in Australia now. He said there is another side to the story but would not comment further.
Source link: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/kids/how-western-sydney-family-was-torn-apart-by-abduction/news-story/514f35319331d76fb923dad0161d67dd