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Jay Slater’s ‘pal’ phoned ‘Johnny Vegas’ on morning he vanished in Tenerife & told him teen is ‘in a ditch’

A FRIEND of Jay Slater allegedly called ‘Johnny Vegas’, one of the men he partied with before he vanished, on the morning of June 17.

Ayub Qassim, a convicted drug dealer who says he goes by the Vegas nickname, claims he received a panicked call about Jay being “in a ditch”.

a man wearing a jacket that says boss on it
Tim Stewart

Jay Slater, 19, vanished three weeks ago in Tenerife[/caption]

Lucy Mae Law, Jay's friend who flew out to Tenerife with him
Jay’s friend Lucy Mae Law – who was out in Tenerife with him
Former detective Mark Williams-Thomas has been out in Tenerife looking for Jay
Former detective Mark Williams-Thomas, out in Tenerife investigating
Ayub Qassim, 31, has been revealed as Johnny Vegas
Ayub Qassim, 31, goes by the nickname ‘Johnny Vegas’

Former detective Mark Williams-Thomas – who is out in Tenerife investigating – shared a bombshell update on X today.

The ex-cop –  who worked on the Madeleine McCann case – said he tracked down Qassim and grilled him on the bizarre mystery.

Mark said: “Ayub has provided me with his account of what he says happened on that morning, Monday the 17th of June.”

The investigator describes Qassim’s version of events – including Jay’s insistence on leaving the Airbnb early that morning despite the offer of a lift.

Mark goes on: “Ayub says, he says to him, mate, just chill out. I’ll drop you off in town when I wake up properly. 

“He [Jay] went, no, no, no, no. I’m hungry. I need to get a scran. And the woman told me I can get a bus every 10 minutes to Los Cristianos. 

“He [Ayub] then says he gets a call from a friend of Jay’s who says that he’s in a ditch somewhere and he’s been cut by a cactus.”

Lucy Mae Law, who travelled out to the island with Jay, is believed to have been the last person to speak to him.

He apparently called her in a panic, lost in a mountainous area, with little phone battery and no water.

That was the last time his phone pinged and he hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

Lucy previously told how she tracked down the two men at the Airbnb and quizzed them about her friends disappearance.

At the time, she said it was “weird and suspicious”.

Some reports have suggested Lucy knows the two men – although it is not clear how.

Despite police clearing the two Brit men to return to the UK, there have been calls for police to speak to them again amid the ongoing mystery of Jay’s disappearance.

Mark went on in his video update: “The evidence still strongly supports that Jay left the Airbnb suddenly, walked for 30 minutes before wandering off road.

“However, as part of this investigation, we have sought to identify and speak with as many people that Jay had contact with whilst in Tenerife.

“The result of this digging has opened up an established criminal network with links to drugs, violent crime and theft.

“You will appreciate that at this stage, I cannot expand any further on what we now know.

“However, at this stage, I’m unable to say if this network has anything to do with Jay’s disappearance, but remain open minded as we continue to investigate.”


By Ellie Doughty, Foreign News Reporter

Monday July 8 marks three weeks since Jay Slater, a 19-year-old from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, vanished in Tenerife.

The apprentice bricklayer, who flew out to the popular holiday island for a rave festival with friends Lucy Law and Brad Page, has made headlines around the country.

On Sunday June 16 the three of them headed off to one of the events at Papagayo nightclub.

In the early hours of Monday 17 – Lucy and Brad were ready to head back to their hotel, but Jay wanted to keep partying.

It was then that he left the south of the island and headed to an Airbnb in the northwest with two British men.

The Sun revealed the identity of one of them – convicted drug dealer Ayub Qassim, who spent nine years behind bars in the UK.

For days it was thought that the second mystery man went by the name ‘Johnny Vegas’.

On Sunday former detective Mark Williams-Thomas, who is out in Tenerife investigating, said Qassim told him he is in fact the man behind the nickname ‘Johnny Vegas’.

We don’t yet know the identity of the second man – who remains a key part of the puzzle in Jay’s mysterious disappearance.

Qassim claims he drove Jay and the friend back to their accommodation and said they all went to sleep.

In the morning he offered to drive the teen back to the Los Cristianos resort after a nap, but Jay, hungry and tired, said he wanted to leave immediately.

Lucy, the last person to speak to Jay, claims she had a panicked call from him soon after he left the holiday let, telling her he was lost and thirsty, his phone was about to die and that he’d been cut by a cactus.

Jay had been seen by the owner of the Airbnb that morning wandering around near the Rural de Teno park – a mountainous region close-by.

He is believed to have been attempting the 11-hour trek back to his hotel, despite the alleged offer of a lift and more buses scheduled for the day.

It was there that his phone last pinged – and he hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

Mark Williams-Thomas has claimed he left the Airbnb quickly, and was “scared”.

Bizarrely, Qassim says he was woken up that morning by a phone call from an unnamed friend of Jay, saying he was “in a ditch” somewhere and had been “cut by a cactus”.

Jay’s friend Lucy claimed to have “tracked down” the two men in the Airbnb after he vanished – quizzing them on the morning of Jay’s disappearance.

Some reports have suggested Lucy knew the two men, although it is not clear how.

She has dubbed his disappearance “weird and suspicious”.

Both men were questioned by Spanish cops on June 17 but quickly deemed “irrelevant” to the investigation and cleared to fly back to the UK.

Police spent almost two weeks searching for Jay in the Tenerife mountains, scouring a 2,000ft ravine, before calling it off on Sunday June 30.

Jay’s family have repeatedly slammed the Spanish investigation into his bizarre disappearance.

His uncle, Glen Duncan, is convinced of “third party involvement” and has pointed fingers at the two men Jay went back with on Monday morning.

And the teen’s devastated dad, Warren Slater, says “everything stinks”

He told The Sun: “My starting position, I’ve said this from day one, ask the two men who’ve taken him – and then start from there.”

A number of unanswered questions remain, over why Jay would have travelled so far with two older men he didn’t know, why said men would have taken him in, and why he braved the Tenerife mountains with no phone battery, water or heat protection for a day-long walk.

Qassim, who The Sun revealed was jailed for nine years in 2015, previously insisted: “Jay came to the house alive, and he left the house alive.”

He has said: “I let the geezer stay at mine because he had nowhere else to go.

“His friends had all left him.

“I know Jay, through friends, I’m not going to bring someone back to mine if I don’t know them.

“I’m doing the geezer a favour and now my face is all over the news. It’s a bit mental. I haven’t even done anything.”

Jay’s own family returned to the Tenerife mountains yesterday to keep searching for the teen.

Police called off their mammoth efforts last Sunday.

Jay’s exhausted uncle, Glen Duncan, told The Sun that he is now convinced others were involved in his nephew’s disappearance.

He said: “I’ve been thinking third party involvement from the start.

“There’s just some things that have already been out there.”

Jay Slater, who vanished on June 17, with friend Lucy Mae Law
Jay Slater, who vanished on June 17, with friend Lucy Mae Law
One of the last known pictures of Jay at the NRG festival in Tenerife
One of the last known pictures of Jay at the NRG festival in Tenerife

a map of tenerife with the words hunt for jay at the top

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