A DOCUMENTARY film Is being made about Brisbane private eye Keith Schafferius
A DOCUMENTARY film Is being made about Brisbane private eye Keith Schafferius, who has rescued children from all over the world. Missing Presumed Alive Is expected to be shown on television here later this year by the ABC, which has bought the Idea for the one-hour documentary.
Mr Schafferius has retrieved 104 children who have been taken or kidnapped by non-custodial parents or relatives. Seventeen have been brought back from overseas, often In dramatic escapes Involving Mr Schafferius sneaking the children out of countries. Mr Schafferius, who heads International Detection Services, has signed a contract for “a substantial amount” with Carlyon and Rivett Pictures pty Ltd. Terry Carlyon photographed and co-directed Suzie’s Story and the company also made an associated film, A Kid Called Troy, which was shown on the ABC and sold to more than 50 countries.
Missing Presumed Alive will be released Internationally, and said the company was negotiating with 20th Century Fox. The film will be about Mr Schafferius’ work finding and retrieving missing children, and the film crew plan to travel overseas with him on at least one of his cases. Mr Carlyon said the film would follow Mr Schafferius’ painstaking’ research and be hard. edged realistic drama told through his eyes. Mr Schafferius accepts about three out of every five child recovery cases presented to him. Often he sends associates to the other countries to set up escape routes and enlist people to help. He has slipped In and out of Italy, Yemen and a South Pacific country without authorities’ knowledge.
PRIVATE investigator Keith Schafferiushas brought back a’ child from Cyprus, after the boy had been kept overseas on a yacht by his father for months.
The mother, who had custody of the boy, 7, had been desperately trying to trace the movement of the yacht, with the help of Federal Police, since late last year, Mr Schafferius flew with the north Queensland mother to Cyprus on May 5, soon after they found out that the yacht was pulling into Cyprus to pick up a part for a desalination unit.
The private investigator and the mother booked a hotel room overlooking Larnaca marina in Cyprus the day before the yacht sailed into port,’ “She first saw her child through binoculars, when the yacht pulled in at 6pm on the Saturday the first sighting in eight months,” Mr Schafferius said. After failed legal attempts in Cyprus to have the father detained and the child returned, Mr Schafferius and the mother approached the yacht a few days after it arrived. Mr Schafferius said Cyprus authorities had given him some assistance by holding the boat over the weekend for quarantine reasons.
He said the father, who was initially surprised to see his ex-wife, agreed to allow her to take her son sightseeing on the Tuesday, provided he kept hold of the boy’s passport. But immigration officials in Brisbane had given the mother a duplicate passport for the boy half an hour before she and Mr Schafferius flew out of Australia.
“As soon as we had the child I went to the airport and booked the first available flight, which was to Cairo,” Mr Schafferius said, They missed that flight” but caught the next plane out, this time to Athens. “There was a bit of a hassle getting the passport recognised because it had no entry stamp (for Cyprus) on it,” Mr Schafferius said. From Athens they took the first flight home to Australia, a few days later. “He was very happy to see his mother,” Mr Schafferius said of the boy’s reaction after being separated from her for months,
The child had been sailing around Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, had cruised through the Red Sea and had visited Egypt. He now is home with his mother in Queensland. Mr Schafferius said the retrieval went smoothly, although he could have been charged with kidnapping under Cyprus law if there had been a complaint and he had been caught taking the child.
This article was originally published 1974 and written by Kay Dibben.