Canadian tourist raped while on holiday in Fiji

Published: March 14, 2014

File photo 2002: Fiji’s long, sandy beaches and protected lagoons draw many visitors to the islands. Irena F. Karafilly/Special to the Montreal Gazette

VANCOUVER DESI

A Fiji police task force is investigating the rape of a Canadian tourist after three men armed with knives burst into the room where she was staying with her husband.

The attack on the couple at Rakiraki on the north of the main island Viti Levu took place on Monday night, a police spokeswoman said.

“The couple were in their room when they were robbed and the woman was allegedly raped,” she said, according to news reports from the South Pacific tourist destination.

The spokeswoman said a police taskforce was immediately established and ordered to conduct a round-the-clock investigation, resulting in the arrest of two men on Wednesday.

She said the couple had returned to Canada but the police investigation was continuing.

The Pacific island nation, which has been run by a military-dominated government since a coup in 2006, is a popular spot for holidaymakers and generally considered safe.

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 (C$886 million) in revenue, according to official data.

Provincial administrator Kelepi Kubunameca said cases like the recent rape of an international visitor at a resort in the area was not good for tourism development.

Kubunameca said the rape of the tourist was unfortunate and discussions would be held at provincial meetings to emphasize the need to look after guests holidaying in the country.

“We cannot have people committing such acts at a time when we are trying to improve the tourism industry,” he said. “This will not augur well for the image of Rakiraki.”

“This incident will be discussed thoroughly at a provincial meeting scheduled for the end of the month where all community leaders will be asked to impress upon their people the message of looking after guests in the country to protect the tourism industry.”

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said some items that were stolen from the couple had been recovered.

“The special task force is continuing its investigations,” she said.

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