Alleged ‘Phantom’ Rapist Still Loose

  Fear of an alleged rapist still on the loose in Labasa has prompted mothers to take drastic measures. The suspect, now being likened to a phantom, has been on
06 Nov 2016 11:00
Alleged ‘Phantom’ Rapist Still Loose
From Left: Sangeeta Devi. & Alisi Maisaivou.


Fear of an alleged rapist still on the loose in Labasa has prompted mothers to take drastic measures.

The suspect, now being likened to a phantom, has been on the run for the past five days after allegedly raping a 14-year-old female student. The victim told Police the suspect was a taxi driver. Police have not released more details after interviewing the girl in the presence of her mother.

“Nobody knows who this guy is, what he looks like or where he is from – just like a phantom,” says a concerned mother,Alisi Maisaivou, 41, of Vunika, Labasa.

Taking no chances on the safety of their children, some mothers in Labasa are keeping a close watch on their daughters, fearing that the alleged rapist may strike again.

“It can happen again and for the safety of my three daughters, I do not let them out at night or for them to walk alone even to the shop,” Ms Maisaivou said.

“I know we always say that we should leave it up to God, but we as parents have a role to play and I am not taking any chances.”

It is alleged that on Wednesday the suspect “phantom” taxi driver had picked up a student who was walking to school, took her to a secluded location and raped her.

Sangeeta Devi of Waiqele, Labasa, said: “I have two daughters and ever since I became aware of the incident I have not left them unsupervised. This is scary because this is a small town.

“I have heard of other rape incidents but to pick up a student and later raping her is something else. Now I make sure that we go together on the bus and I will wait for them when they return.”

Ms Devi, who works as a chef at a restaurant in Labasa Town, said she grew scared of sending her children to school when she heard news of the alleged incident.

Ala Talatoka, of Tuatua, Labasa, continues to remind her three children to return home on time. She has one daughter.

She said: “Do not talk to strangers. From school come straight home and do not walk when you have your bus coupon.”

The alleged incident has left taxi drivers in Labasa concerned about their reputation. There are 437 taxis operating in Macuata Province, 187 of which are based in Labasa, and 250 on the outskirts of the town.

Banisucu taxi driver Adip Chand, 60, said: “This is not good. I have been driving for a long time in Labasa and this is the first time I hear of such a conduct from a taxi driver.

“People trust us and this is what he has done. He should be found and punished accordingly.”

Fiji Taxi Association Labasa branch president Mahendra Singh said: “This kind of attitude is not acceptable. We are having our own internal investigations and helping out in the case.”

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro is again appealing to the public for information on the suspect taxi driver as their investigations continue.

Edited by Naisa Koroi


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