Nine students from a Seventh-day Adventist high school in Fiji have been praised by police after assisting in the arrest of a man facing serious charges, including aggravated robbery and assault.
Acting Police Commissioner Rusiate Tudravu said the Fiji Police Force is proud of the Navesau Adventist High School students whose efforts led to the arrest of the suspect.
Year 12 students McVeigh Mainu and Simione Waqa told police they ran after the suspect as he fled into nearby bushes. The other students came to assist but had to withdraw after they were allegedly pelted with stones. Waqa received minor injuries during the incident, including scratches and bruises from running through the bushes.
A 22-year-old man was arrested the following day. He was charged with aggravated robbery, assault, damaging property, and common nuisance after allegedly erecting an illegal roadblock near Navesau.
The Acting Commissioner said it is encouraging to see the young generation "doing the right thing and playing a proactive role in addressing criminal activities." He thanked each student individually, “knowing the situation was a dangerous one that could have resulted in serious injury or even death.”
Trans-Pacific Union Mission associate education director Mele Vaihola said she is very proud of the Navesau students.
“Such an act of bravery from these boys in risking their own lives to do the right thing,” she said. “I thank and congratulate them for a job well done and for representing Adventist education well in the Wainibuka community.”
In 2019, Navesau Adventist School was in the news after the Seventh-day Adventist Church decided to privatize the institution. The organization’s decision came after the Fijian government implemented the Open Merit Recruitment Selection System (OMRSS) in 2016, which meant religion could no longer be a factor in choosing the heads of religious schools.
More than 95 percent of schools in Fiji are owned and operated by faith-based organizations.