NEWS

Police Comb Natadola For Missing Russian Couple

A Police team, made up of detectives from Lautoka and Nadi yesterday, combed farm lands and Natadola Beach for a missing Russian couple. Yuri Shipulin and his wife, Natalia, left
20 Jun 2016 10:32
Police Comb Natadola  For Missing Russian Couple
The missing Russian couple... Yuri Shipulin and wife, Natalia. Their vehicle was later found abandoned at Natadola Beach with the car keys still in the ignition. INSET: The Russian couple’s vehicle covered in dust at the Nadi Police Station. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

A Police team, made up of detectives from Lautoka and Nadi yesterday, combed farm lands and Natadola Beach for a missing Russian couple.

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 on Thursday. They have disappeared.

Their vehicle, a grey metallic Toyota Land Cruiser, bearing the registration ‘PILOT’, was found abandoned with the key 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.

The couple were spotted at Denarau Island after leaving their farm.

Police are also looking at the likelihood the couple could have boarded a yacht or may even be in hiding somewhere.

Their business partner, Andrew Luzanenko, who arrived in Fiji on January 16 this year, had earlier said  he was still trying to figure out why the couple had left without talking to him or telling him where they were going.

He also said their business took a nose dive after their farm was ravaged by Cyclone Winston and the couple were becoming increasingly worried over this.

The couple, from Ryazan City, Russia, had been in the country for the past five years, but according to Mr Luzanenko, they had been running the farm for the past two years.

A friend of the couple, posting under the name Alla SeaStar, disputed reports that they had been drinking and smoking heavily before their disappearance.

She said in an online comment: “First of all, Natalia is not smoking at all and the wording in the article already shows that the article is misleading.

“She may have had a drink once in a very while and it has nothing to do with ‘boozing spree’ as the article says.

“Yuri’s friends – English and Russian speaking community know him as an open hearted man who loves Fiji and had a lot of plans for farming and photography business.

“The article is very upsetting I even cannot imagine what Natasha’s two daughters would feel reading this article about their beautiful mama.

“And there are more inconsistencies in this writing starting from the date of arrival of Luzanenko, to the car keys being in the ignition and more. Another question to the writer, how could he interview a person who supposedly hardly speaks English.”

A Swaran Ravindra posted: “As your neighbor I remember having a few glasses of red wine with the couple, you and Stevie, where we enjoyed socially. I have never noticed any excessive drinking habits demonstrated by the two.

“This is very wrong. I hope they are safe and get home soon.”

 

Edited by nemani Delaibatiki

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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