The investigation into the alleged abduction of a 13year old boy in Saweni, Lautoka at the weekend has been completed.
The team of investigators conducted house to house enquiries, recorded statements of witnesses and had spent the past two days trying to verify claims that he was drugged and abducted by a group of men.
Yesterday a decision was reached to speak to the victim again hoping that he may recall new information, as there were certain elements of the report that were not matching up to the findings of the enquiries conducted up until last night.
As is with all cases involving child victims’, investigators have to be sensitive and patient towards the needs of the victim, and will work closely with parents to ensure he or she is comfortable with giving information, which is why the investigation could not be rushed.
Commissioner of Police, Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho says, Upon further questioning, the victim openly admitted to falsifying the information given to police due to personal reasons that we will not be able to divulge publicly, and will leave to the discretion of the family if they wish to do so.
We have counseled the child in the presence of his parents and spoke to him at length about the consequences of his actions. We have urged his parents to be understanding of the reasons as to why the child felt the need to lie about what he went through in the hope he will learn from his mistakes.
The investigation into the abduction case has therefore been closed.
This is a sensitive situation and we would also ask members of the public to respect the family’s privacy.
We understand that the incident had gone viral on social media and had caused nationwide panic.
Commissioner of Police, Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho says while the parents have spoken publicly purely based on their concerns and desire to protect other would be victims, based on the information they had from their son, we are however deeply concerned about how certain social media users posted information based purely on stories shared within the hospital corridors.
The social media posts based on rumor mongering had resulted in nationwide panic and the unwarranted attack on the Chinese community.
The investigation process needed to take its course, and the release of information would have been from relevant law enforcement authorities.
This latest incident is an example of how damaging social media can be when posts are based on rumors rather than facts.
As of this morning a health official who had allegedly posted and shared information about the incident was taken in for questioning by Lautoka Police, as his post had allegedly caused fear to members of the public and certain community groups.
Investigators will be looking at relevant provisions of the law that may be been breached and more health officials are likely to be brought in for questioning.
Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho wants to assure all Fijians, that if there were emerging threats to your safety and particularly the safety of our children, that we will issue public statements and keep everyone informed.
The allegations of a group operating in Fiji as organ traffickers is simply not true.
We would fail in our duty if we had information of this happening and we did not inform the public of the need to be vigilant to such illegal activities.
This is my personal assurance and we urge social media users to be mindful of what they post as the consequences are real and far reaching.