Airbnb Hosts in Australia Charged With Raping and Murdering Their Guest

October 30, 2017, 10:45 AM UTC

Three Airbnb hosts in Melbourne, Australia, have been accused of murdering their guest.

Ramis Jonuzi, 36, had used the popular home-sharing app Airbnb to book his stay at the Brighton East home where he was allegedly raped and murdered according to The Guardian. The men who live in the home that Jonuzi booked have been charged with his murder.

Jonuzi was reportedly paying $30 a night for the room, which he had found on the accommodation website less than a week earlier, according to the Melbourne-based newspaper, The Age. Friends say it had appeared a “good way to find cheap and stable accommodation in Melbourne while he worked through some personal issues”.

How Jonuzi died has not yet been confirmed, but police said he was in cardiac arrest and paramedics had tried to revive him, according to The Guardian.

Read: Airbnb CEO: “We’ll Be Ready” for IPO

Craig Levy, 36, Ryan Smart, 37, and Jason Colton, 41, didn’t apply for bail when they faced the Melbourne magistrates court on Friday. Levy and Smart were charged with murdering Jonuzi, while Colton was charged with murder and also raping Jonuzi with an object, according to The Guardian.

A spokesperson for Airbnb said the company was “deeply saddened and outraged” by the tragedy. “The family will have our full support and our hearts go out to them and all of his friends,” the spokesperson said. “We have removed this listing from our platform and will fully cooperate with law enforcement on their investigation.

“There is no place on Airbnb for such an abhorrent act, which violates everything our global community stands for.”

Read:Airbnb Apartment Complex In Florida Is Designed For Homesharing. But That Means Sharing Profits, Too.

The occurrence highlights a larger, darker side to the billion dollar sharing-economy. The disruptive shift throughout many service industries has seen companies like Uber, Airbnb and a number of other firms rival, and in many cases surpass, some of the world’s bigger businesses in transportation, hospitality and other sectors. While these peer-to-peer services provide many positive social and economic developments, the lack of regulation illustrates risks that rules have not yet caught up with. Governments are beginning to come under increasing pressure to ensure that both consumers and providers are protected, particularly in the light of such incidents.

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