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Second Vehicle Linked To Probe On Missing Russians

Second Vehicle Linked To Probe On Missing Russians
The fire place beside where the vehicle was found at Natadola Beach. Photo: Charles Chambers
June 22
10:41 2016

Police have taken a second vehicle, belonging to the missing Russian couple, for forensic examination.

The blue twin cab, HE 403, was parked at the couple’s farm when the Fiji Sun made a visit there on Saturday and is now being kept at the Nadi Police Station.

Unconfirmed reports said some sand was found inside this vehicle and had been sent for analysis to see whether it matched the sands at Natadola Beach.

These reports also said Police were looking at some evidence found at Natadola Beach, which included tyre marks.

Yuri Shipulin and his wife, Natalia left their farm in the hills of Kachiquari, which is off a feeder road on the way to Nausori Highlands in Nadi, sometime after midday last Thursday.

According to a Police source, the couple were spotted a little later at Denarau Island having some drinks.

Later that same afternoon, the couple’s vehicle, a grey metallic Toyota Land Cruiser, bearing the registration ‘PILOT’, was found at Natadola Beach, the doors unlocked with the keys still in the ignition.

It is believed Police found clothing inside the vehicle belonging to Natalia and which was said to be the one she was wearing on Thursday.

On Monday, Interpol was alerted about the disappearance of the couple, which raised the question of whether the couple could have left the country on a yacht from Natadola Beach.

Yesterday Commissioner of Police, Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho, said investigations were continuing and he could not comment further.

Chief of Intelligence and Investigations Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Luke Navela was in Labasa yesterday and said he would be in a better position to comment today.

As the search continues for the missing Russian couple, the Fiji Sun looked at some of the scenes that have now become the centre of the Police investigation.

Their business partner, Andrew Luzanenk, in an interview at the farm last Saturday,  told the Fiji Sun the couple were going through a financial crisis since business had been affected after their fruit and vegetable farm was ravaged by Cyclone Winston.

The house was in disarray and it seemed they may have left in haste.

Yesterday the Fiji Sun visited the place at Natadola Beach where the couple’s vehicle was found.

The place is a secluded area near a resort under the shade of some trees and about 30 metres from the shoreline.

Nearby there is a fire place that seemed to have been recently lit. There are no houses visible from there.

From the Queens Highway, the journey inside to the beach takes about 20 minutes.

The sands in the second vehicle could hold new clues.

 

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 

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