6 Jul 2005

Fiji man charged with murdering three girls reported missing last week

1:46 pm on 6 July 2005

A Fiji man, who yesterday confessed to killing three teenage sisters, has been formally charged with three murders.

42-year old Dip Chand has told police he killed the sisters aged 17, 18 and 19 last week and then dumped their bodies at sea off Rakiraki.

He is reported to have said he tied the bodies to the anchor of his boat and submerged them in water.

Meanwhile bones found on nearby Malake Island are to be tested to determine whether they belong to another girl, 16-year old Vandhana Jeet, who was last seen with Chand three years ago.

Keveuli Tunidau is the assistant public prosecutor in Fiji's western division:

"In respect of the disappearance of another girl in 2002, police are still pursuing other leads in respect of that one. But at the moment I can confirm three counts of murder against Dip Chand."

Meanwhile six separate searches are underway on and around Malake Island off Rakiraki.

This includes a search by navy divers which the Police Commissioner, Andrew Hughes, says will cover an area of around one square kilometre.

And we expect, on advice from the Navy divers, that it will take them about five days to complete their search. As well as that we have five search teams concentrating on the islands, and the main island - on the foreshores there, looking for any evidence.