Monday, March 17, 2014

Fiji: Update--Three Suspects in Rape, Robbery of Canadian Couple Arrested, Charged

According to http://www.fijivillage.com, three assailants who have been charged with with forcible rape, aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery of a Canadian couple in connection with the March 10 break-in of their guest-room in Rakiraki were arraigned earlier today in the Tavua Magistrate's Court (March 17).

Defendants Jale Fatiaki, Pita Natekuru and Ilaitia Nalawa, all of whom are between the ages of 21 and 32, have been remanded into custody until such time as their trial commences.

The case has been transferred to the Lautoka High Court where they will be tried on April 1.

According to AFP, the Canadian couple was victimized when three assailants armed with knives broke into their guest-room in at approximately 2300 hours on Monday night (March 10), resulting in the husband being assaulted and the wife being gang-raped. 

COMMENT: Understandably, the couple fled Fiji as the police investigation continued. Hopefully, the couple will be agreeable to testifying via video-link from Canada in order to convict the assailants rather than have them go free. 

Tourism is a mainstay of the economy, attracting about 650,000 visitors in 2012--mostly from Australia and New Zealand--and generating about FJ$1.3 billion ($793 million) in revenue.    

According to the US Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), the criminal threat in Fiji, in 2012, was designated "High" threat on its four-tier threat categorization system of "Critical, High, Medium and Low." 

High-threat is the second highest level on the Department's threat scale.  

Seemingly, for the benefit of  US citizens, the responsible Regional Security Officer (RSO) should update the criminal threat through 2014, as the latest crime and safety report was issued in 2012.