Thursday , November 30 2023

Saba medical students receive threatening e-mail messages

For over a week, students of Saba University School of Medicine (SUSOM) have been receiving e-mails and I-messages from an unidentified individual, who often impersonates as one of the deans of the school, reports The Daily Herald.

The first false e-mail was sent May 9 with the sender’s name “Pether Johnson,” which is a misspelled name of an actual individual living on Saba. Four multi-recipient e-mails have been sent to all SUSOM students so far, and several messages to individual addresses have been sent as well. These messages were sent from an unidentified source, and their contents are filled with slander and sexually- explicit photos. One woman medical student is targeted specifically in these e-mails and false statements are made in the name of SUSOM Dean Dr. James Lewis. In a false e-mail that was sent Saturday evening to all students, a remark was made about a stabbing that was going to take place.

The Daily Herald spoke with several students and they said they feel uneasy by this situation. Especially with the current homicide investigation going on, mostly female students feel less safe at the moment. Med School student Kavya Guda (24) was found dead in her apartment in The Bottom on April 15. No suspects have been arrested.

SUSOM has arranged a walk-home programme for students, who don’t like to walk to their home alone during quiet hours. So far, the last bogus e-mail was sent on Sunday. While Dean Lewis is not responsible for the false e-mails being sent to the students, he has commented on these incidents by e-mail to all SUSOM students. In one of his e-mails, Lewis stated: “These e-mails, at any time, would have been inappropriate and a violation of our honour code and general harassment policies.” Lewis mentioned that this behaviour is especially inappropriate in light of the resent homicide. According to Lewis, the local police have been notified and are looking into the matter.

In another e-mail, Lewis stated that “the Dutch police have determined that the anonymous inappropriate e-mails recently sent are criminal and are under investigation utilizing their forensic electronic unit.” Lewis also stated that the university’s schedule will not change, including the exams, and that the campus is one of the “most secure places” on the island.

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One comment

  1. george kennedy Leverock

    It is truly unfortunate that this horrific crime has happened on our little Island. It is made more so because it has happened to a visitor who came to our island to study. A stranger among us who has met with a terrible faith. I hope that the law will find the person or even persons responsible for this horrible act, and punish them to the full extent of the law. To the Parents of the young lady: you are offered the heart felt sympathy of the island for the tragic loss of your child. I believe that the entire populous of the island offers their heart felt sympathy and prayers for your strength to make it through this most difficult time. If there is any one that has any information no matter how insignificant you may think it is, please come forward with it. As to the person or person that are just making foolish comments, keep your ignorance to yourself, if you can,t be a source of help, don’t be a Hindrance either.
    My personal opinion is that the moment it happened the authorities should have involved the FBI since the young Lady was an American. They should have remembered the mess in Aruba some years ago. I hope that they will make wise and timely decisions in this matter so that the truth will be found out and that the guilty will be caught and punished and that the parents will be able some comfort in knowing that the offender has been brought to justice.