New Caledonian Yacht Attacked In Solomon Islands
Several armed men boarded and ransacked a yacht with a family of two adults and two children on board the night of Saturday October 21. The catamaran Kalim was anchored at Bita’ama in the north of the island of Malaita in the Solomon Islands. A group of men armed with a gun, knives and a club boarded the yacht around midnight. They stole about USD10,000 and threatened skipper Philippe Houdret with a knife. Various other valuables were stolen before the men eventually left. The yacht made its way to Honiara where the authorities were informed.
The Houdret family, from New Caledonia, had already spent some three months cruising the archipelago and had found it a welcoming place; now they have no intention of returning.
Following the reporting of the incident in local press in New Caledonia and the Solomons, some toursits cancelled holidays in Malaita, prompting fears among local businessmen that their fledgling tourist industry would suffer the consequences of this incident for some time to come.
Update on arrests
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, Nov. 2)
Four men arrested over an armed robbery at a yacht at Bita'ama in North Malaita will be brought to Honiara, Solomon Islands tomorrow from the Auki prison where they are being held.
Police Provincial Commander Malaita, Gideon Kadi says the four men are being held in custody on a holding charge of armed robbery.
Kadi says it is likely that they will receive further associated charges including simple larceny and malicious damage.
He says police have recovered almost half of the properties allegedly stolen from the yacht last week.
Kadi says it's alleged that 3500 Solomon dollars (about US$215) was stolen from the yacht.
He says the four men confessed to taking only 850 dollars (about US$12).
Meanwhile, the Malaita Provincial Police commander Kadi says the yacht has already left Malaita and is believed to be in Vanuatu.