American Tourist Raped While Trekking PNG’s Kokoda Trail

admin's picture

Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Tourism Minister calls for death penalty for ‘heinous crimes’

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Jan. 13, 2016) – A tourist from the United States was raped repeatedly and had three of her fingers chopped off along the Kokoda Track on Monday, police said.

She and her London-based male companion were tortured and robbed of items such as mobile phones, shoes, backpacks and clothing and cash worth K15,000 before being released.

Police described the incident as "pack-rape".

NCD-Central Assistant Police Commissioner Sylvester Kalaut is appealing to villagers for information to help arrest the culprits.

One of the suspects, a villager from Efogi in Koiari, Central, was last night held by villagers.

Police believe that at least two local offenders, armed with bush knives and spears, were involved.

[PIR editor’s note: On Jan. 14, 2016 PNG Post-Courier reported that ‘Tourism Minister Justin Tkatchenko ... condemned the rape of an American tourist on the famous Kokoda Trail on Monday morning. ... Mr Tkatchenko, who spoke not as a Minister but as a citizen, said that he was all for the death penalty being imposed for heinous crimes committed by fellow citizens. ... "Death penalty is in place, those who commit a crime like the crime done to this woman, those people deserve to die, they deserve to get the death penalty. Those who kill other people who are completely innocent, deserve to die."’]

"Two expatriate tourists, a male and a female, both 31, were tracking the Kokoda Track and heading towards Templeton Two (a campsite) when they were ambushed by armed men," Kalaut said.

He said the suspects held up the tourists, tied them up before dragging them off the track into the bush.

"The male tracker was tied to a tree and the female tracker was repeatedly raped before three of her fingers were chopped," Kalaut said.

"The incident took place for an hour before they (trackers) were set free.

"I am appealing to the villagers to assist the police, come forward and provide necessary information so that the perpetrators can be dealt with.

Kalaut said such acts would affect tourism in the country.

Police said the trackers ran to Alola village and were later airlifted by a helicopter to Port Moresby and are undergoing medical attention.

"Police investigation is continuing, a police team will leave Port Moresby (today) by helicopter and will travel to Efogi village to try to apprehend the suspects."

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment