They were arrested on the morning of June 7th Francesca Scalfari and her husband Simon Wood who have been living in Zanzibar for 15 years where they had transformed their home into a Boutique Hotel. They called it Sherazad Boutique Hotel, because for them it was a fairytale like those told by Sherazad in the Thousand and One Nights.
The alarm was first raised by Francesca’s brother, Marco, who on Facebook told their story and “unfounded accusations“for which they were incarcerated. Together with their friends, she also opened the Facebook page Support for Francesca and Simon where she posted photos and videos of the couple with their son Luca, who is now in Italy with their grandparents.
Against them, explains a post, there are 13 allegations referring to a previous civil lawsuit. A lawsuit brought (but from the civil side already reached a conclusion) by a couple of former Italian partners just about the hotel. To these accusations, however, were added those of money laundering and forgery.
There is no bail for money laundering, so Francesca and Simon remain in prison, she in a cell with six other inmates, he with as many as 200 prisoners.
“A prison – wrote Marco – with real criminals, where the risk of viral diseases is very high, all of this against all governmental laws and against all human rights“At the news of the arrest, he immediately flew to the archipelago, which is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania. But only once was he able to meet them and not even their lawyer can. hearing but the result is not yet known.
On Facebook there are many certificates of esteem for Francesca, who was born in the Milanese area, in Sesto San Giovanni, and for Simon. “Zanzibar our first home” she wrote on Facebook where just a few days ago she posted the images of the Republic Day of June 2 at the embassy of Dar es Salam and commented on her 12 years of marriage with Simon. It is true that social media profiles do not always tell reality, but Francesca’s one speaks of serenity and love for the island that has become her home. Nothing seems to portend the arrest or speak of economic or legal problems.
“Myself, my son, my life here, the love for this island and for life are the seeds that I planted“he wrote. On the website of the Sharazad Boutique Hotel there is a photo of the smiling family sitting on a sofa in front of the sea which explains how the hotel is” the realization of the dream “of a” British traveler “and an” Italian lady. “and how they supported local projects, in particular Francesca supported the opening of a concept store of local products called ‘Stone Town The Wonders Boutique’ while Simon opened a screen printing. Theirs, we read,” is a beautiful story of love and life with some challenges certainly, but there is no doubt that Zanzibar was their destiny and is where they belong “.
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