Man who chased abductors cautions parents

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene 04 October 2018, 12:00AM

A man who rescued two girls from their abductors has asked parents to be vigilant and watch out for their children, especially young girls.

Liua Vaasili Savai'inaea, 27, of Salailua Savai'i told Samoa Observer in an interview yesterday, that he was returning home from a volleyball match at Falelauniu last Saturday afternoon when he came across a white van.

“On my way home, I took a short cut around that area and I came through one of the roads that is opposite from a tyre repair at Safune road at Vaitele," he said.

“I was aware about a van that is going around looking for young girls but I didn’t think something was going to happen there."

“So I came through that road and while coming down a small hill, I saw from a far a white van parked next to a bush there, and I know there are no families in that particular area." 

“I didn’t really notice it and I didn’t think that this was the van that is allegedly going around Vaitele looking for young girls,” he said.

Savai'inaea said he heard the voices of screaming girls when he approached the van and saw two men struggling to push two girls into the vehicle.

“As I came closer to the van, I heard voices of girls screaming and that’s when I saw two guys, trying to pull two girls inside their car, but the girls were fighting these two guys."

“I quickly jumped on the side of the road, picked up some rocks and started throwing against the van and I was running as well. The first rock hit the back window of the car and it broke, and that’s when I saw a female jumped inside the van."

“So it was a female and two males that were trying to push the girls inside the van. I knew it was a female because I heard her calling out to the two guys outside to push the girls inside,” he added.

A second rock, which Savaiinaea threw at the van, hit the side of the vehicle and forced one of the abductors to let go of one of the girls. The second girl ran off after the other abductor, who saw Liua running towards them, loosened his grip on her.  

“I ran after the van but it sped off so I stopped and looked around and tried to find where the girls were but I couldn’t find so I came home.”

Savaiinaea said he has reported the matter to the police and is now appealing to parents through social media to watch out for their children as the White Sunday weekend approaches. 

But his recent Facebook post cautioning parents has already led to him getting threatening phone calls.

“This was Monday night, they were threatening me, and the person who called said I am now their target because I ruined what they were doing. It doesn’t bother me to be honest, as long as I know I am doing the right thing and I know I did because I know us Samoans, even if we are not blood related we always help each out.”

He said the abductors look “afakasi” and even the person that called him to make the threats did not speak fluent Samoan. 

“I just want to warn our people especially parents to please look out for your children. These girls were lucky I was there at the right time but let us not take this lightly,” he said. 

The police released a statement on Monday night saying they have launched an investigation into reports of an alleged abduction attempt reported by members of the public.

“The Samoa Police Service has proactively approached witnesses to the alleged abduction posted by members of the public on social media. 

"This matter was not reported initially to Samoa Police Service. However, the information that Samoa Police Service has received so far is assisting police in launching an investigation into this matter.”

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene 04 October 2018, 12:00AM

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