Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fiji: Australian Tourist, 40, Killed by Fijian While Operating a Watercraft Without a License

According to AFP, a defendant appeared in a Fiji court on Monday (May 19)  charged with manslaughter over the death of an Australian tourist in a boat collision off the South Pacific nation's coast last week.
Jimi Beti, 33, a Fijian, faces charges of manslaughter, criminal recklessness and negligence over the death of 40-year-old Mark Hardaker of New South Wales last Thursday (May 15). 

COMMENT: Many foreigners, particularly Aussies and New Zealanders, have been the victims of violent crime while visiting Fiji, although the majority of Western nations describe the security risk as "normal," which it is not.

Mr. Hardaker was returning from a fishing trip when a speedboat driven by Beti, a Fijian, allegedly crashed into his vessel, causing fatal head injuries.

The court was told Beti was operating the boat without a license. He was refused bail and remanded to appear in Lautoka High Court on June 4.

Tourism is the nation's highest foreign exchange earner, with more than 700,000 Australians and New Zealanders traveling to Fiji annually. 

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.