Woman allegedly abducted on Honiara bus and raped
A media officer says a 21-year-old woman was travelling on a bus last week when she was allegedly abducted in east Honiara.
Solomon Islands police are investigating a second abduction on a bus in the capital Honiara.
Less than two weeks ago a Chinese businessman was kidnapped and assaulted while being driven around the city in a bus.
A media officer says in the latest case, last week, a 21-year-old woman was also travelling on a bus when she was allegedly abducted in east Honiara.
Spink Mahuta says the woman was left with the driver and three other men when all the other passengers got off.
He says she is too traumatised right now to tell police what happened after that but it appears she was taken to a secluded area, raped and left tied to a tree. Mr Manuta spoke to Annell Husband.
SPINK MAHUTA: She was promised, again, to be revisited on Saturday if she was still around. They'll do something to her, I don't know what, either take her life or whatever or let her free. But then she struggled and set off, like the story was given.
ANNELL HUSBAND: Clearly, the bus drivers, the people running the bus, were involved with this, right?
SM: It's under investigation for us. We're still investigating the matter. I think both the bus driver and the conductor and the other two suspects, we believe that it's partly co-ordinated by the four, but it's an allegation.
AH: And the incident with the Chinese businessman, was it thought that the bus drivers were involved in the whole thing?
SM: (Indistinct) the bus driver, the conductor and those that were there. The other men are still under investigation, as well, all of them together.
AH: Right. So this is not a case of a bus being taken over by people, this is a case of the bus drivers being involved in the crime.
SM: That's what we believe happened. It's more like they agreed and conducted the crime.
AH: So is there big concern at the moment about the safety on public buses, 'cause those buses, they're relied on by thousands of people?
SM: That's right, exactly. It's an issue at the moment. The public are nervous, hearing all these stories. Of course there is fear, especially in the children and the women. We are calling on the public, as well, for their safety not to travel at odd hours in the evening and so forth, and especially for women and children to travel with someone beside.
AH: So not to travel alone and presumably not to travel in the dark?
SM: That's right. Odd hours, especially in the evening and night.
AH: But that's a bit difficult when you're required to get to your job or come home from it.
SM: That's right.
AH: What else are police doing about this?
SM: We also appeal to members of the public, especially communities. Since there is not a big community, you know each other well, so that's another step - to educate people to welcome the policing committee, giving awareness so that the community can work with police and they can easily hand over those suspects.
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