Homicide

Police continue with Natadola murder investigations

The Fiji Police Force is putting in all efforts to find whoever is responsible for the murder of Russian nationals Mr Yuri Shipulin and Ms Natalia Gerasimova. In a statement, Police Cheif of Investigations and Intelligence ACP Luke Navela said that in order to protect the integrity of the investigations the force will not be […]

Peni Shute

July 6, 2016 12:57 pm

The Fiji Police Force is putting in all efforts to find whoever is responsible for the murder of Russian nationals Mr Yuri Shipulin and Ms Natalia Gerasimova.

ACP Luke Navela at a press conference in Suva ealier this year. (Newswire)
ACP Luke Navela at a press conference in Suva ealier this year. (Newswire)

In a statement, Police Cheif of Investigations and Intelligence ACP Luke Navela said that in order to protect the integrity of the investigations the force will not be making further comments until due course.

NAVELA: “Due to the sensitive nature of the ongoing investigations regarding the murder of Russian nationals Mr Yuriy Shipulin and Ms Nataliya Gerasimova, we will not be making further comments until the investigation is completed.”

PC Maika Tobua of the PSRU during the search for human remains in the waters of Natadola. (Fiji Police Force)
Police Constable Maika Tobua of the PSRU during the search for human remains in the waters of Natadola. (Fiji Police Force)

ACP Navela said members of the public are requested to not speculate or spread unsubstantiated rumours about the case as it only serves to create unnecessary fear.

NAVELA: “This is why we are requesting members of the public and the media to assist investigators by allowing them to focus on their work. We cannot be speculating on what transpired or what the outcome of the investigations will be speculation as such can paint a negative image of what’s happening in Fiji.”

Police Constable Siteri Lesumaivakaruanaivalu of the PSRU dive team during a search of the Natadola waters. (Fiji Police Force)
Police Constable Siteri Lesumaivakaruanaivalu of the PSRU dive team during a search of the Natadola waters. (Fiji Police Force)

“On behalf of the Commissioner of Police I can assure everyone that all efforts are being put in to find whoever is responsible for this terrible act.”

ACP Navela said with the backing of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) and the Fiji Navy the joint teams continue their search in Natadola waters today.

NAVELA: “Concurrently a team of investigators, as well as, our K-9 Unit are conducting their line of work.”

Police Constable Mosese Fatiaki of the K9 unit of Nadi during a briefing with the Commissioner of Police Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho in Natadola. (Fiji Police Force)
Police Constable Mosese Fatiaki of the K9 unit of Nadi during a briefing with the Commissioner of Police Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho in Natadola. (Fiji Police Force)

ACP Navela said the Commissioner of Police has also reassured the public and visiting tourists’ that Fiji remains a peace-loving country.

NAVELA: “Like other countries, crimes of serious nature do happen because there are elements in society that involve themselves in these type of activities.”

ACP Navela urges members of the public to provide any information they may have, irrespective of how insignificant it might be as it could be the missing piece of the ongoing investigations.

Meanwhile, the Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa said that she is concerned about this unfortunate event and is expressing her condolences to their families abroad.

KEPA: “I am very concerned about this unfortunate event and wish to express my condolences to their families abroad. We condemn this hideous crime and I call on all those that have any information that may lead to an arrest to assist the Police with their investigation.”

The Opposition Leader has called on the public to assist the Police on this matter.

The human remains that were found at the Natadola Beach yesterday will undergo DNA tests to confirm it were linked to those that were discovered earlier.

PC Maika Ratuwere of the PSRU Dive team in the Natadola waters. (Fiji Police Force)
PC Maika Ratuwere of the PSRU Dive team in the Natadola waters. (Fiji Police Force)

Police Chief of Intelligence and Investigation ACP Luke Navela told Newswire that investigations are underway and there is a lot of things they can not divulge to the public.

NAVELA: “Investigation is underway and there is a lot of things we can not divulge everything to the public. We have to carry out the DNA tests to confirm if it is the part of the remains that were discovered previously.”

ACP Navela said Fiji is safe for Fijians and Tourists.

Another discovery of human remains was made this morning at the Natadola beach.

One of the PSRU divers searching for human remains in the Natadola waters. (Fiji Police Force)
One of the PSRU divers searching for human remains in the Natadola waters. (Fiji Police Force)

This was confirmed this afternoon by Chief of Intelligence and Investigations ACP Luke Navela in a statement.

NAVELA: “The discovery of the decomposed body remains this morning was made by a man who was walking along the beach after which Police were informed.”

ACP Navela said the remains were wrapped in a similar manner to the discovery made last week at the same location.

NAVELA: “The remains will be kept at the Lautoka Hospital where forensic tests will again be conducted.”

ACP Navela added that investigations were still underway.

The Fiji Police Force has confirmed that the human remains which washed ashore at Natadola beach last week are of missing Russian couple, Yuri Shipulin and his wife Natalia.

Russian couple Yuri Shipulin and his wife Natalia have been missing since the 16th of last month. (Facebook)
Russian couple Yuri Shipulin and his wife Natalia have been missing since the 16th of last month. (Fiji Police Force)

In a statement, Police Chief of Intelligence and Investigations, ACP Luke Navela said the DNA tests that were conducted confirm the remains belong to the two.

Police also confirmed the case has been classified as ‘murder’.

A team of divers from the Fiji Navy will be joining the Fiji Police Force divers with the search operation in Natadola tomorrow.

In a statement, Police Chief of Intelligence and Investigations ACP Navela said he is grateful for the effort from the Fiji Navy.

NAVELA: “We are grateful to Commander John Fox for coming to our aid by sending a team of his divers to help their comrades as they search the Natadola waters in our effort to try and piece together the discovery of the body remains as well as the report of the missing Russian couple.

He said with more divers, the joint team will be able to cover a bigger area.

NAVELA: “We are hopeful this could help us find some answers as to what took place.”

ACP Navela said they are still awaiting the outcome of the request made to the INTERPOL.

NAVELA: “While the dive operation will continue tomorrow, we continue to wait for the outcome of our request made through INTERPOL with regards to the forensic test results conducted on the remains, and whether there is a link between the two reports.

Meanwhile, the Russian couple were reported missing since the 16th of last month.

The Fiji Police Force’s forensic team has completed tests on the human remains that were discovered at the Natadola beach earlier this month.

A member of the PSRU dive team briefs Chief Operations Officer of Police, ACP Rusiate Tudravu in Natadola beach last week. (Fiji Police Force)
A member of the PSRU dive team briefs Chief Operations Officer of Police, ACP Rusiate Tudravu in Natadola beach last week. (Fiji Police Force)

This was confirmed today by Chief of Intelligence and Investigation ACP Luke Navela after he and Chief Operations Officer of Police, ACP Rusiate Tudravu were briefed by  the team at Natadola, beach.

NAVELA: “The Fiji Police’s forensic team have managed to complete the necessary tests on the human remains and our findings as well as DNA information is being sent over to our Russian counterparts through INTERPOL, so they can help us determine whether there is a link to the missing Russian couple.”

NAVELA: “This is where our focus is but at the same time our divers continue to search the Natadola waters.”

Head of the PSRU dive team Acting Sergeant Jone Delai points to where their team is currently searching for more of the human remains. (Fiji Police Force)
Head of the PSRU dive team Acting Sergeant Jone Dinati points to where their team is currently searching for more of the human remains. (Fiji Police Force)

Police have deployed an additional team to assist with investigations into the discovery of human remains at the Natadola beach.

This was confirmed by Chief of Intelligence and Investigation ACP Luke Navela.

NAVELA: “For the Natadola case its just been confirmed that another team has gone down to assist investigations into the discovery of the human remains as well as the missing Russian couple.”

ACP Navela said the team of divers will continue their search today.

There is no solid information that could help establish a link between the recent discovery of human remains at the Natadola beach and the missing Russian couple.

Police investigations into the human remains have intensified with police in the process of retrieving DNA from the couple’s relatives in Russia.

In a statement, Chief of Intelligence and Investigation ACP Luke Navela said they cannot rule out the possibility that the Russian couple may have left the country.

NAVELA: “This is why we had requested INTERPOL’s assistance and work to get DNA from the couple’s relatives continues.”

ACP Navela said the Fiji police divers would be searching the Natadola waters over the next few days

NAVELA: “So far there hasn’t been any positive findings due to rough seas and the search will continue tomorrow.”

The police are requesting anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers on 919 or their nearest Police Station.

The Fiji Police Force are continuing investigations into the recent discovery of decomposed body remains at Natadola beach in Sigatoka.

Chief Operations Officer of Police, ACP Rusiate Tudravu, ACP Luke Navela and the DCP Western Marika Yalimaiwai during the briefing at Natadola beach today. (Fiji Police Force)
Chief Operations Officer of Police, ACP Rusiate Tudravu, ACP Luke Navela and the DCP Western Marika Yalimaiwai during the briefing at Natadola beach today. (Fiji Police Force)

Chief of Intelligence and Investigations, Assistant Commissioner of Police Luke Navela confirmed that another discovery was made yesterday by Police divers.

NAVELA: “Another discovery was made yesterday and both body remains are at the Nadi Hospital awaiting necessary forensic tests. I have also directed our divers to conduct another search today.”

ACP Navela said at present the decomposed body remains were still at the Nadi hospital and that Police will have to conduct DNA tests.

NAVELA: “Tests have not been conducted on the parts yet as it is still with the Nadi hospital. The only one that will be conducted is the DNA test, we will have to get family members from Russia and only then we can assure that these are the missing Russians. Investigations will take a bit of time.”

Meanwhile, INTERPOL has been called to assist in both the discovery of body parts and the investigation into the missing Russian couple at the Natadola Beach.

NAVELA: “At this point of the investigations we still cannot positively confirm if the two cases are linked. At the same time anyone with information that could assist us in both investigations is requested to call Crime Stoppers on 919.”

Police divers are currently out at sea around the vicinity of the Natadola beach to search for more decomposed body remains.

This was revealed to Newswire by the Chief of Intelligence and Investigations of Police, ACP Luke Navela who said that a team of divers and forensic officials are searching for more decomposed body remains around the Natadola beach.

NAVELA: “Our divers are out there in the sea and some officers are on the beach to try and look for more of the body remains.”

ACP Navela said that he cannot confirm at the moment if the remains belong to the missing Russian couple.

NAVELA: “Investigations are currently continuing and our forensic team are also there but we have not identified the body yet but our officers are on the ground working to discover new leads.”

The Fiji Police Force are investigating the discovery of decomposed body remains at Natadola beach in Sigatoka yesterday.

Chief of Intelligence and Investigations, ACP Luke Navela told Newswire that the decomposed body remains is now with the Police forensics team.

NAVELA: “We have set up an investigations team, the forensics team are looking into the body parts and we are treating the case as ‘Murder’ and currently we are doing our investigations. The body parts are now with the forensics team.”

ACP Navela said the body parts were discovered by a security guard who then alerted Police.

NAVELA: “The discovery was made by a 59-year-old security guard at about 0800hrs and investigations are in its early stages.”

ACP Navela said tests will have to be conducted before Police are able to confirm if the body parts are of the Russian couple who were reported missing on the 16th of this month from their farm up in the Nausori Highland Road in Nadi.

NAVELA: “We request members of the public not to speculate about the discovery…we cannot ascertain that as now that’s why we are currently doing our investigations whether it is part of it and only when we finish our investigations today or tomorrow we should be able to ascertain that. Therefore it would be premature to link yesterday’s discovery to the report of the missing Russian couple whose vehicle was found abandoned near the same area.”

ACP Navela said he is currently travelling down to the team in the Western division.

NAVELA” “We are looking into it now, I am currently going down now to see how can we confirm it.”

The Fiji Police Force has found the missing metallic land cruiser bearing registration “PILOT” at Natadola Road in Sigatoka yesterday afternoon.

Yuri Shipulin standing next to his land cruiser bearing registration “PILOT”. (Fiji Police Force)
Yuri Shipulin standing next to his land cruiser bearing registration “PILOT”. (Fiji Police Force)

Police spokesperson Inspector Josaia Weicavu said they have found the vehicle but without the missing Russian couple.

Members of the public with information about the missing couple are requested to call Crime Stoppers on 919.

Police are looking for a couple Yuri Shipulin and his wife Natalia who are originally from Russia.

Russian couple Yuri Shipulin and his wife Natalia. (Fiji Police Force)
Russian couple Yuri Shipulin and his wife Natalia. (Fiji Police Force)

Police spokesperson Inspector Josaia Weicavu said the couple went missing from their farm at Kachiquari, Mulomulo up the Nausori Highland Road, Nadi since Thursday 16th June 2016.

WEICAVU:”They left in their grey metallic land cruiser bearing registration “PILOT” and never returned home. They were reported missing by their business partner who lives in the farm.”

Members of the public with information of their whereabouts or the location of their vehicle are requested to call Crime Stoppers on 919.

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