THE Fiji Police Force yesterday clarified that at no point in time did they receive a report of an 18-year-old female being found on a yacht or was in their custody.
Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro was reacting to the report in The Fiji Times yesterday on Page 1 — "Hope for my girls: Yacht seizure puts Naria back in spotlight" — which stated that an 18-year-old girl was found on a yacht and was in police custody.
Ms Naisoro said the news article created unnecessary panic among the Rakiraki community, especially women.
She said there was a case involving a 25-year-old woman three weeks ago and it was closed after it was found that she had a mutual relationship with the yacht owner.
Meanwhile, the woman's family said she was well and was in the company of a yachtie known to them. The family confirmed to The Sunday Times that the pair was at sea after visiting the Naag Mandir in Labasa two weeks ago.
The 25-year-old woman and the yacht owner have been friends for some time and had made plans to get married.
"There's so much attention on this matter when it really is nobody's business. We have met the owner of the yacht, he is a friend of my sister and he has visited our home and met the whole family," her older brother said.
He said he did not want to be identified and bring unnecessary attention to the family.
Yesterday evening, the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji issued a statement in response to the article published in The Fiji Times on Friday, October 5, 2012, "Girl Cargo: Officers seize yacht and sex trade evidence", citing a MSAF officer, as saying that MSAF had seized a yacht near Malake Island in Rakiraki; and that a Fijian girl of Indian descent was taken into custody.
In the statement, MSAF CEO, Mr Neale Slack reaffirmed "that no officer of MSAF was authorised to release information to the media other than the CEO, and all such media releases would be in writing on the authority's letterhead and endorsed by the CEO".