Alleged child abduction case closed as claims were lies
March 7, 2019 2:56 pm
The Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho
The investigation into the alleged abduction of a 13-year-old boy in Saweni, Lautoka over the weekend has been completed and closed.
The Police Commissioner has confirmed the victim admitted to falsifying the information given to police due to personal reasons.
Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho says they will not divulge the reasons given by the boy publicly and will leave it to the discretion of the family if they wish to do so.
He says they have counseled the child in the presence of his parents and spoke to him at length about the consequences of his actions.
The Police have also urged his parents to be understanding of the reasons as to why the child felt the need to lie and hoped he will learn from his mistake.
The Police Chief says it is a sensitive situation and is requesting the public to respect the family’s privacy.
He says the incident had gone viral on social media and caused nationwide panic, adding its concerning how certain social media users posted information based purely on stories shared within the hospital corridors.
The team of investigators had conducted house to house inquiries, recorded statements of witnesses and spent the past two days trying to verify claims that the teenager was drugged and abducted by a group of men.
The Police Commissioner says they had to speak to the victim again hoping he may recall new information as there were certain elements of the report that were not matching up to the findings of the inquiries conducted until last night.
This is where the boy admitted to making false claims.
Meanwhile, the Police Commissioner says 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.
He says this latest incident is an example of how damaging social media can be when posts are based on rumors rather than facts.
He has also confirmed that as of this morning, a health official who had allegedly posted and shared information about the incident was taken in for questioning by the 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 Qiliho has assured all Fijians, that if there were emerging threats to their safety and particularly the safety of our children, public statements will be issued to keep everyone informed.
The allegations of a group operating in Fiji as organ traffickers are also not true.
The Police Chief says they would fail in their duty if they had information of this happening and did not inform the public of the need to be vigilant to such illegal activities.
Social media users have also been urged to be mindful of what they post as the consequences are real and far-reaching.