Three arrested following Kokoda rape

Three men have been arrested in relation to rape and attack of the tourists along the Kokoda Track.

In a media briefing this afternoon Central NCD police command, Tourism Minister Justin Tkatchenko and Kokoda Track Authority officials discussed the incident that took place earlier this week.

In an update Central police Commander Laimo Asi says that the incident took place on Monday at around 8am when an expatriate couple was attacked around Yora Creek at Templeton 2 in the Kokoda area.

The man 32 from the UK along with his partner a 31-year-old American woman were attacked by two armed men.

One was armed with a bush knife while another was armed also with a bush knife and hunting spear.

Asi says that the two were taken off the track where the man was tied up while the two men took turns raping the woman.

While the rape took place the other suspect kept beating up the man as well.

After the ordeal the two were led back to the track where they managed to run away from the two men and seek help with the assistance from villagers at a post near Alola village.

The two were airlifted out of the area with the KTA assistance at around 4pm that afternoon.

PPC Asi says that the two were in a state of shock at the time of his visit to them on Monday night.

He says that the man who managed to speak after some time says that the attack was cannibalistic and barbaric as the two men went out of their way to scare them, by painting their faces black and wearing leaves and bush foliage around their head area.

Tourism Minister Justin Tkatchenko told media that he will work around the clock with the KTA to ensure that they improve the type of service on offer at the track area.

He admitted as well that there is a need for the government to hold a cross-sectoral approach with all stakeholders to ensure that safety is ensured for our tourists along the Track and at other destinations as well.

NCD Central Commander Sylvester Kalaut commended the efforts of his personnel in their fast apprehension of the three suspects who were picked up by yesterday.

According to reports two were handed over by the community while the other man was found with the stolen items of the two victims.

The two victims were flown out this morning to get further medical assistance while police are anticipated to bring the three apprehended suspects by tomorrow afternoon.

Julianna Waeda