THE father of three girls who disappeared seven years ago is hopeful that they could be found after the latest suspected case of human trafficking in the area.
Vijendra Kumar, of Naria in Rakiraki, told The Fiji Times yesterday there was a possibility his daughters were also taken away in a yacht similar to the way the Fijian girl of Indian descent who was taken off a yacht intercepted by the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji recently.
"It could be that a yacht like that was near Malake Island where my daughters went for a picnic and they were taken away to some foreign country," he said.
"We have hope that they are alive somewhere. Maybe this recent case will help provide some answers to questions that everyone has been asking after the disappearance of my daughters."
Mr Kumar's daughters — Ashika Sherin Lata, 19, Renuka Roshni Lata, 18, and Radhika Roshni Lata, 17 — disappeared while on a picnic trip to Malake Island on June 26, 2005.
A man is serving a life sentence for the murder of the three sisters, whose bodies were never found.
"We haven't done the final rites for my daughters because their bodies have not been found and while we believe they are alive somewhere, sometimes we get double-minded because the man in prison said he killed them," said Mr Kumar.
"After this latest case, it seems that there is somebody in the area who is playing a major part in this human trafficking business.
"Whoever this person is he should be tracked down by the authorities."
Police said the 18-year-old girl that was found on the yacht near Malake island was also from Naria.
Deputy commander west Jope Ralulu, however, said the yacht owner who was from New Zealand was a close family friend of the girl.
DPS Ralulu said the girl was found on the yacht but was released after they found out the connection between the family and yacht owner.
Criminal Investigation Department director SSP Vakacegu Toduadua said the story highlighted in The Fiji Times yesterday raised several possibilities on the Lata sisters' disappearance in 2005.
When questioned whether they would re-open the investigation, Mr Toduadua replied that he would not comment any further.
MSAF had earlier revealed that illegal activities involving foreign vessels were happening in Fiji and they hoped to tightened their security once its boats arrived from overseas.