Jay Slater: Missing 3 weeks, a stolen Rolex, and a meeting with a convicted drug dealer

  • Canarian Weekly
  • 08-07-2024
  • Tenerife
  • Photo Credit: CW
  • Video Credit: Manchester Evening News
Jay Slater: Missing 3 weeks, a stolen Rolex, and a meeting with a convicted drug dealer

Jay Slater, a 19-year-old British apprentice bricklayer, arrived in Tenerife on June 13th to enjoy his first holiday with friends and attend a music festival. On Monday, June 17th, his phone stopped transmitting a signal, and he vanished near the Teno Rural Park. He last spoke to Lucy Law, one of the friends he attended the festival with, at 8:00am.

Jay left the festival and headed to an Airbnb rented by two strangers. “I only have 1% battery left,” he told his friend during their final phone call. He was attempting to walk back to his accommodation in Los Cristianos, a ten-hour journey. His trail disappears in the Masca Valley area.

This disappearance has sparked a complex investigation: who is Jay Slater, with whom did he leave the party, and what did he do during the hours he was not with his friends? After twenty days with no trace of him, the few answers only add more mystery to his disappearance: a teenage conviction, a stolen Rolex, and an encounter with a convicted drug dealer. The search for him was stopped by the Guardia Civil last week, although the investigation continues.

Jay, from Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, attended the 'New Rave Generation,' an electronic music festival known for its alcohol and alleged drug use, with friends Lucy and Brad. The festival ran at various venues from Friday June 14th to Sunday June 16th. After the music stopped, he left with two people he had met at the event.

According to the Daily Mail, Jay went to Papagayo Beach Club, the last of the festival venues. There, he was involved in a fight and allegedly stole a Rolex watch. Private investigator Mark Williams-Thomas, who is assisting Jay's family and previously worked on the Madeleine McCann case, told the MailOnline, “He fled scared after admitting to stealing a Rolex worth 14,000 euros.”

The owner of the stolen Rolex, reported by The Sun, is an Eastern European citizen who was at the Papagayo Beach Club and reported the theft. After the alleged altercation and theft, Jay went to Masca with the two strangers. They have been questioned and have given statements to the police who say they are not implicated in the case, and they have returned to the UK, although investigators have copies of their passports and know where they are.

“He had nowhere else to go"

The identities of these two men have added more confusion to Jay’s disappearance. The Sun revealed that one of them is Ayub Qassim, a 31-year-old Brit who was imprisoned for masterminding a drug trafficking operation in Wales. Qassim, who has given his testimony, insists on his innocence.

“I was doing him a favour, and now my face is all over the news. It’s a bit crazy,” he told the Daily Mail. He explained that Jay left his Airbnb alive. “I let him stay at my place because he said he had nowhere else to go; his friends had abandoned him.”

In his interview, Qassim emphasised that he had no conflict with Jay and even gave him a blanket to sleep. “If I had fought with him, would he even come to my house? There were no problems. You’ve seen the last images of him with his red blanket,” he stated.

Jay Slater: Missing 3 weeks, a stolen Rolex, and a meeting with a convicted drug dealer

A witness saw Jay outside the Airbnb apartment, asking when the next bus from Masca would depart to Los Cristianos, at around 7:30am on Monday, June 17th. An hour later, he told his friend Lucy that he was lost, needed water, and his phone battery was about to run out. At this point his phone went dead, and his last known location was the Teno Rural Park.

After he was reported missing, a relentless search ensued, ending last Sunday without any leads. The operation involved Guardia Civil agents, the National Police, Mountain Rescue agents, the Fire Brigade, helicopters, drones, and specialised search dogs from Madrid. While the search efforts have ceased, the investigation remains active, but there is still no trace of Jay Slater.

Jay's family travelled to Tenerife upon hearing the news of his disappearance. His mother, Debbie Duncan, made an emotional statement: “Jay is a normal boy in his third year of a bricklaying apprenticeship and is a very popular young man with a large circle of friends.”

“We are a very close family and are absolutely devastated by his disappearance. Words cannot describe the pain and agony we are experiencing. He is our beautiful boy with his whole life ahead of him, and we just want to find him.” She also mentioned receiving false leads and even ransom demands.

Debbie has also requested “privacy.” Over these 20 days, Jay’s troubled past has come to light as British newspaper reports from August 2021, detail that eight youths used machetes, an axe, and a golf club to beat up a minor. Among the attackers was Jay Slater, then 16 years old, resulting in a criminal record.

Three years have passed since then, and now, three weeks into his disappearance, Jay Slater's case is filled with more questions and conspiracy theories than answers.