NEWS

Bruised, Battered Tikokece Taxi Driver, 61, Says He is Lucky To Be Alive

Veremo Vakasilimi was still nursing a swollen eye and a heavily bandaged knee at his Nadera home.
30 Oct 2019 11:17
Bruised, Battered Tikokece Taxi Driver, 61, Says He is Lucky To Be Alive
Taxi driver Veremo Vakasilimi, 61, suffered injuries to his knees, chest and face after he was allegedly kicked and punched by five youths who robbed him of his day’s income and taxi on October 29, 2019. Photos: Ronald Kumar

A 61-year-old taxi driver was beaten, robbed and left for dead by five youths in the early hours of yesterday along a residential suburb in Suva.

Veremo Vakasilimi was still nursing a swollen eye and a heavily bandaged knee at his Nadera home.

He had only started driving for Tikokece Taxis three weeks ago after a contract with a trucking company ended.

He said it was after 2am yesterday when he went to fill up at Pacific Energy Station in Nabua.

A young man waved him down but Mr Vakasilimi was surprised when four others were suddenly in the vehicle.

“I told them that there were too many of them and one or two should get off,” he said.

One of the passengers insisted that they drop him off at his home in Ritova Street to change.

“Past the school, there’s a steep road, going down – halfway back, they stopped me and they all went out and pulled open the driver’s door and the they pulled me out and from there, they started kicking me and punching me.”

Mr Vakasilimi retaliated and pulled out a kitchen knife hidden in the taxi.

“I used it but I don’t know whether I hit somebody or not, maybe somebody got hurt, I don’t know.”

The five youths then got into the vehicle sped off.

Mr Vakasilimi slowly made his way to the main road and was picked up by a passing taxi.

Taxi owner Tui Vaiola was alerted by Police that his car was found abandoned at Derrick Street, Raiwaqa.

“Luckily there was no life taken,” he said.

Tikokece Taxis director Ratu Lomaca Baleilevuka has warned those who attack his drivers.

“The 176 Tikokece Taxis help each other and that was how the two were arrested,” he said.

Ratu Baleilevuka said they were still searching for the other three and with their wide network they would soon be handed over to the Police.

He said they would be taking precautionary measures as Christmas season of merry making approaches.

Police confirmed that two men have been arrested for an alleged case of aggravated robbery early yesterday morning.

The two suspects are aged 18 and 20.

Sixty one year-old Veremo Vakasilimi shows the bruises to his face from the attack. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Sixty one year-old Veremo Vakasilimi shows the bruises to his face from the attack. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Tanoa Waterfront Lautoka Fiji
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: