Sodomizing Cane Gang Members Arrested

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LABASA – Four of six men who sodomised six school boys aged eight to 11 years on separate occasions in Savusavu last year were arrested.

The four were arrested from a cane farm in Seaqaqa outside Labasa, while two remain at large. The alleged crime was committed between January 25 last year and January this year.

“These young boys, at different times of the crime, were either swimming in the river, out collecting coconuts or were on their way to the shop,” police spokeswoman Theresa Ralogaivau said.

This report was lodged at the Savusavu Police Station on Wednesday last week by the manager of the school the young boys attend.

She said the chief operation officer and Assistant Commissioner of Police ACP Henry Brown had also directed the divisional police commander northern to prioritise the case. Ralogaivau said a team of police officers from the Sexual Offence Unit would visit the Savusavu village this week to conduct further awareness.

She said most cases of sexual offences against children were dated, having occurred either last year or a few months ago.

However, she said reports were now surfacing subsequent to the intensity of awareness conducted in villages and communities.

“We feel people are now gaining more awareness of what constitutes sexual offences and are feeling more confident to come out and talk about it,” Ralogaivau said.

For the alleged sodomy case, the Sexual Offences Unit of the police force conducted four awareness workshops in Savusavu.

And after one of those workshops, the group of students (victims) told their school manager what was done to them, following which the manager alerted police.

Ralogaivau said police were calling on village and community leaders to support the police force in combating sexual offences against minors.

“We have to admit and accept that this is happening. And when we all jump on board and support the force, only then will we begin to see a real decrease,” she said.

“We want more public participation,” she added.