The husband of missing Polish-born lawyer Renata Antczak was arrested by police yesterday – but insisted his wife has simply been lured away by a cult.
Dr Majid Mustafa, 47, was apprehended along with a 45-year-old man almost a month after his 49-year-old wife went missing, according to reports.
She has not been seen since leaving her home in Hull, East Yorkshire, after dropping her 11-year-old daughter at school on April 25.
There was a large police presence outside her home on Friday and Humberside Police released a statement to confirm they had made arrests.
Dr Majid Mustafa, 47, was apprehended along with a 45-year-old man almost a month after his 49-year-old wife went missing (pictured together)
Polish-born Renata Antczak was reported missing after leaving her home in Hull, East Yorkshire, on April 25. She is pictured with her dentist husband Majid Mustafa
Speaking just hours before he was arrested, Mr Mustafa told The Sun: ‘I had nothing to do with it. I just want to find her.’
He added that he was working with the police and replied ‘no, of course not’ when asked if he was involved in her disappearance.
Mr Mustafa said he believes his wife had gone back to her native Poland to join a cult.
Before she disappeared from her home, she left behind a piece of paper covered in her hand-writing and headed Freedom Ritual.
Just underneath, the mother-of-two had written, in her native Polish: ‘I am free. I am free from everything. I am free from marriage. I am free from all obligation. I am free from everything.’
For her husband, the note, along with a strange gold amulet that he says Renata had started wearing shortly before she vanished, is a clear indication that something very strange was happening to his wife of 23 years in the months before her disappearance on April 25.
At the end of the letter, Renata had written: ‘Thank you for all the lessons you have given me.’
Exactly who she was writing to is not clear, but Mr Mustafa, who owns a dental practice in the city, believes that his wife, who once worked as a lawyer in Poland but recently retrained as a ‘healing’ therapist, must have been lured into some kind of sect or cult.
‘I think they brainwashed her step by step,’ he says.
‘It looks like someone was telling her this, and she wrote it down. We found the letter upstairs. Something is strange. Something is amiss.’
In the first and only in-depth interview he plans to give about Renata’s disappearance, he admits he is at a loss to understand why she would suddenly have vanished.
But there are clues, of course. There is the note and the amulet — a gold necklace with a circular symbol. There are fears, too, expressed by family members in Poland, that she was increasingly unhappy in her marriage and might have been having an affair.
Syrian-born Mr Mustafa, who met Renata in Lodz after he emigrated to Poland 27 years ago, believes that his wife knew that all their lives were about to change.
‘A few weeks ago, she told our eldest daughter: ‘Promise me, whatever happens, you will look after your younger sister.’ My daughter Magda said: ‘Why did you say that?’ and she said: ‘Nothing. Nothing.’ ‘
Mrs Antczak has not been seen since leaving her house after dropping her 11-year-old daughter at school earlier that day
Today there was a large police presence outside Mrs Antczak’s home in Hull, East Yorkshire
While Humberside Police search for Renata, he is now juggling work commitments while trying to support their two daughters, 11-year-old Victoria and Magda, 23, a university student, at the family’s neat three-bedroom home in the Kingswood area of Hull.
He has handed both the note and photographs of the gold necklace his wife wore to detectives in the hope that they might yield further clues as to what has happened to her.
But while he believes that the truth about her disappearance lies in Poland, where they were living until 2010 and which she frequently visited, police sources told me this week that they do not believe she ever left the UK.
They say there is no evidence that anyone of her name has travelled out of the country.
But Mr Mustafa believes Renata may have used an old Polish identity card to travel and insists there are claims that she has been seen in Lodz, where her sister and 84-year-old mother still live.
Renata vanished at around 1pm on Tuesday, April 25, leaving home on foot and wearing black trousers and a purple T-shirt.
Mr Mustafa, who was upstairs at the time, says that up until that point, the day was like any other.
‘That morning, we just had a chat about Victoria,’ he says. ‘Everything was normal.’
Wedding day: Mrs Antczak’s husband, Majid Mustafa, has previously said his wife had gone back to her native Poland to join a cult
The couple married in 1995 in Konstantynow Lodzki, in central Poland, and bought a three-bedroom house in the nearby village of Zabiczki before moving to the UK with their daughter Magda in 2005.
They lived briefly in London and Scotland before moving to Hull, where Mr Mustafa, who ran several successful businesses in Poland, launched a new dental business in 2010 called New Smile.
Both he and Renata are directors of the company.
As well as dental implants, Mr Mustafa offers cosmetic surgery, including a ‘Vampire Facial’, which involves extracting blood from the patient’s arm, spinning it in a centrifuge to separate the plasma from the red and white blood cells, and then injecting it into the face with dermal fillers.
For Renata, who studied law at the University of Lodz and worked as a government lawyer there, life was rather more complicated.
She was not qualified to practise as a solicitor in the UK and instead found work as an EU welfare support worker in Hull on a project called the Community Integration Network, before being employed as a paralegal adviser at a solicitors’ in the city.
But according to Mr Mustafa, all had not been well in their marriage since December — not long after Renata qualified as a therapist for an alternative health treatment called TimeWaver, invented by a German scientist who operates out of a castle near Berlin.
The controversial TimeWaver Frequency system uses a machine connected to two electrodes which patients are asked to hold.
According to its founder, nearly all diseases are caused by ‘a decrease in the cell membrane voltage’ — something which can be reversed by TimeWaver’s ‘cellular improvement of the membrane voltage of the cell’.
It can be used, he claims, to treat anything from pain to addictions to cardiovascular problems.
Renata returned to Poland to become a TimeWaver therapist, staying in hotels while she attended expensive training sessions which often went on until midnight.
The couple took out a loan to purchase the TimeWaver machine and she told her husband she’d need to spend a week every month in Poland learning to use it.
‘Since December, with TimeWaver, her life started to change,’ says Mr Mustafa. ‘She is a lovely woman, a clever woman.
Humberside Police stand outside the house of missing Mrs Antczak, 49, in Hull today
The lawyer (pictured) has not been seen since leaving her home in Hull, East Yorkshire, after dropping her 11-year-old daughter at school on April 25
‘But I am sure they have washed her mind totally.’
On one occasion, he recalls telephoning the hotel where she was staying and not getting a reply until 4 am.
‘We were very worried about her,’ he says. ‘At 4am she answered. She said: ‘Sorry I was downstairs in meditation.’ We could hear water, music and birds.
‘I said: ‘What has meditation got to do with TimeWaver?’ ‘
Back in the UK, he says, her behaviour became increasingly strange. His wife spoke on the phone every day with her TimeWaver colleagues.
While he was abroad undertaking specialist dental implant training, their younger daughter, Victoria, became ill with a temperature and her mother kept her off school.
The family GP prescribed anti-biotics but Renata insisted on using the TimeWaver machine.
In a publicity video she made, which was later posted online, Renata can be seen describing the ‘positive effect’ it had on her daughter’s health.
Mr Mustafa, who trained as a dentist in Poland and at a private university, BPP, in London, recalls his shock when his wife explained what she was doing.
‘She said: ‘The antibiotics are not good.’ I told her: ‘Just give her the antibiotics.’
He says that early this year, her behaviour continued to be odd. ‘The things she was saying were strange,’ he insists. On one occasion, he overheard Renata, who had been raised a Catholic but no longer practised her religion, telling their daughters that the souls of the dead went ‘to a different person on Earth’.
‘She told our 11-year-old daughter that there are people who, if they look at something very hard, they can move it with their eye — telekinesis. I told her: ‘Please don’t say that to the child because she will say something at school.’
Then there was the strange necklace with the circular symbol. When Mr Mustafa asked her what it was, he claims she told him: ‘This is to take the negative energy off us.’ Renata also began burning candles and incense at home, he says, which she hadn’t done before.
Then, he says, he was gobsmacked when Renata asked him for a divorce. He had no idea that there was anything wrong in their relationship.
‘I was very surprised,’ he says. ‘I asked her: ‘What’s happened?’ Did I do anything wrong in my life?’
‘She just said she wanted a divorce. She wanted to work in Poland and she wanted to be independent. She wanted to take Victoria and go back to Poland.
‘I was trying, all the time, until the last minute, to save our marriage. I told her people divorce when they have really serious problems — when you catch the man with another woman or come home drunk every day.
Before she disappeared from her home, the mother (pictured) left behind a piece of paper covered in her hand-writing and headed Freedom Ritual
‘But she just said she wanted a divorce and wanted to be free.’
Back in Poland, family members were also aware that Renata wanted to end her marriage.
‘When she was last home in January, she told her mum she had had enough and was filing for divorce,’ a family source told the Mail this week.
‘The whole family has been trying to contact her, sending her messages on social media, asking her if she’s OK and to make contact. But she hasn’t even opened them.’
Also speaking from Poland, Renata’s sister Danuta Szulc told the Mail that Renata had asked her husband for a divorce and had made plans to enrol Victoria at a school in Poland from next term.
Mr Mustafa, she said, was hoping his wife would change her mind.
She described him as ‘a good husband and father’. ‘My sister’s husband came here a few days before Easter and went around the whole family asking why Renata wants to divorce him,’ she said.
‘He said she had started proceedings. He seemed depressed about it.’
Mrs Szulc said that she also suspected that Renata was seeing another man during her regular visits to Poland.
‘The last time I heard from her was in a phone call a few days after Easter,’ she said.
‘She was uncharacteristically reserved. I asked her what the matter was but she said she would tell me everything when she came back to Poland again at the end of May.’
Back in Hull, at the Flexible Salon hair stylist in Spring Bank where Renata used to work as a therapist, salon owner Iwona Janas is also desperately worried about her friend and says she doesn’t believe that she would ever have abandoned her daughter.
‘She is a great mother and would never leave her child like that. There are all kinds of ideas of what might have happened to her.
‘No one really knows but something has happened.’
At Easter, just ten days before her disappearance, Renata gathered her family together at the small but smart home they rent.
She wanted to celebrate Victoria’s 11th birthday, even though it was still two weeks away.
Mr Mustafa says his wife shrugged off their queries about why, saying: ‘Because it’s Easter and we’re all together.’
By the time Victoria’s real birthday came around, on April 30, her mother had been missing for five days.
A spokesman for Humberside Police said that extensive enquiries have been made both in the UK and with colleagues in Poland about Renata’s whereabouts, and that sightings of her in Poland could not be corroborated.
He said: ‘We’ve got no information on where she has been since April 25. We’re still appealing for people with information, to people who know where she is, or to Renata herself, to come forward.
‘We’re hopeful we’ll find her safe and well.’
Mr Mustafa says he is ‘very appreciative’ of the efforts the police are making to find his wife.
He adds: ‘We still love her and want her to come back.’
Keith Marston, who lives next door to the property, said on Friday: ‘There were lots of cop cars and there was a police van and officers with white suits on. One of those officers got in (her) car and took it away.’
A force spokesman added: ‘We have arrested two men, aged 45 and 47, in connection with the disappearance of 49-year-old Renata Antczak on April 25.
‘The arrests follow new information about her disappearance coming to light as part of the investigation into her whereabouts.
‘In addition we are searching a number of addresses in Hull as part of ongoing enquiries. At this time no further details about the arrest will be made available.’
Additional reporting: Mark Branagan
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