Missing: Kouk Leong Jin

Where on earth--or to be more specific, in Greece--is Kouk Leong Jin?! A mystery. No point to speculate on how and why he vanished.

My sympathy goes to his wife, Ms Seow Shu Ping. Just married for 2 weeks, and she has to face this trying moment? Poor thing. Really admire her determination of 'not coming back' if she cannot find him. (Yes, she has gone to Athens to look for him!)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is working closely with the Greek authorities to look for a fourth-year Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School student who is believed to be missing in Athens, Greece.

An MFA spokesman told TODAY that the ministry is doing so through the Singapore Honorary Consulate in Athens, the Greek Ambassador to Singapore and INTERPOL channels to locate Singaporean Kouk Leong Jin, 28.

"We are aware of this case and are very concerned ... We have been keeping in close touch with Mr Kouk's family and will do all we can to assist the family," said the spokesman.

Mr Kouk's family and friends have not heard from him for almost a week. They have set up a Facebook page to solicit information on his whereabouts. Via the social networking site, some Singaporeans living in Athens have also come on board to help keep a lookout for Mr Kouk on the streets of the Greek capital.

Mr Kouk had arrived in Athens last Monday to attend a medical conference at the Megaron Athens International Conference Centre.

On the same day, his wife, Ms Seow Shu Ping, received an e-mail from him informing that he had arrived in the country. He was staying in the Golden Age Hotel in downtown Athens and was due to fly home on Saturday.

On Tuesday, Mr Kouk's friend, who was also attending the conference, got a missed call from him. Mr Kouk failed to turn up at the conference.

Mr Kouk's family contacted the MFA on Thursday, and a police report was made the next day. Ms Seow, who married Mr Kouk two weeks ago, flew to Athens last night with his family to look for him.

Her sister, Shu Ling, told Today: "My sister is the first one who realised something was amiss. Since then she has been emotionally unstable. I hope Leong Jin's family and she will stay strong and calm when they are at Athens."

Ms Seow had told Lianhe Zaobao that Mr Kouk mentioned in his e-mail that he might be visiting one of the Greek Islands or try mountain climbing.

She added: "So I do not feel good about the situation and have been praying that he will be all right."

She said she contacted the hotel on Wednesday to look for Mr Kouk and was informed that he had not returned to the hotel since the day before. She also checked her husband's telephone records with StarHub and found that the last call he made was a missed call to a friend also attending the medical conference.

From Today, "Search for local medical student believed to be missing in Greece".

A Singaporean man has been missing in Athens for five days. He missed a medical conference that he flew there to attend and has not been heard from since.

Mr Kouk Leong Jin, a graduate student at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, arrived in the Greek capital last Monday.

He made a call at about 10.40pm (Athens time) to a classmate, Mr Leong Jin He, on Tuesday evening, Sep 27, but the latter missed the call as he was already sleeping. They were both scheduled to attend the conference together.

Chinese local evening dailies reported that his wife of two weeks, Madam Seow Shu Ping, a 28-year-old teacher, have flown to Athens to look for him.

A Facebook page has also been created, with details of his time in Athens up until the time he was last heard from being chronicled, in an apparent effort to find people who may know of his whereabouts.

Madam Seow told Chinese daily reporters that she last heard from her husband on Monday, the day that he arrived in Athens. He sent her an SMS to tell her that he had arrived safely, followed by an email later in the evening. In the email, he told her that he was going to visit some smaller islands the next day. He had gone exploring some hills earlier and was full of praise for Greece's ancient architecture.

Madam Seow noted that her husband's behaviour had seemed normal, even promising to keep in contact with her, but she has not heard from him since then.

A family member told The Straits Times that this was probably Mr Kouk's first time travelling alone even though he had been overseas before.

She said: "The conference was to have lasted from Wednesday to Friday, but since he went missing on Tuesday, I contacted some of his classmates, only to find out that he did not attend the conference at all."

Mr Leong told Shin Min that Mr Kouk did not respond to his SMS on the first day of the conference. When he tried to call Mr Kouk at 10pm later that night, he found out that the line was not connected.

A check with the hotel where Mr Kouk was staying showed that he last accessed his hotel room on Tuesday evening. A check with his telecoms provider showed he had surfed the Internet using his phone at a little past 10pm (Athens time) on the same day.

Duke-NUS told the Chinese evening dailies that a representative from the school will be sent to Athens to render assistance, while the family of the missing man has also reportedly contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the local embassy in Athens for help. Local police there have been alerted, while a notice was also posted on a Greek 'missing persons' website.

Wife buys one-way ticket to Athens

Madam Seow told Shin Min Daily News that she would not come back until she found her husband.

She and Mr Kouk's parents are reportedly flying to Athens this evening to look for him.

She told Shin Min: "If I cannot find him I'm not coming back."

After learning that Mr Kuok last went missing on Tuesday, she also found out that he has not checked out of his hotel room to date, nor was he on the return flight that was booked for him back to Singapore.

She said: "I can feel that he's just waiting for me to rescue him!"

The hotel staff reported that his room has remained untouched on Saturday evening, with his belongings in place.

Mr Kouk is about 1.7m tall, wears spectacles, and was last seen waering a light blue collared shirt. He was carrying a black bag, and wearing a pair of black shoes.

From Asiaone, "Medical student goes missing in Athens".


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