‘Forgive me’

Main Stories, National

WILLIAM Kapris, Papua New Guinea’s most notorious prison escapee, has reportedly asked for the nation’s forgiveness.
A man claiming to be Kapris yesterday went to the National Broadcasting Corporation’s breakfast programme and asked the country to forgive him, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported last night.
He said he did not want to go on air but told the host, Stanis Ivahupa, to ask the country to forgive him and to ask his family to pray for him.
Mr Ivahupa told his listeners that Kapris said he was injured and could not travel far.
Kapris also said he was forced to rob a bank in Madang in 2008 – a robbery that netted around K2 million.
The ABC report could not be verified with NBC or police last night.
Kapris has been on the run for a fortnight after he and 11 other high-risk prisoners escaped from the maximum security unit at Bomana jail outside Port Moresby on Jan 12.
Kapris is the alleged mastermind of several high-profile bank robberies last year. He was in Bomana awaiting trial for those robberies when he escaped.
Meanwhile, police are scaling down operations to recapture the fugitives involving the use of hired vehicles, to save costs.
Police Commissioner Gari Baki said yesterday he has issued directives for the scaling down of the use of 20 hired vehicles from a vehicle hire company.
The vehicles were hired for the purpose of recapturing the 12 escapees, after the Government released K1.5 million for the operation.
Mr Baki said as soon as he returned from leave to take up the command, he directed that the hiring of vehicles be stopped.
He said the remaining funds would be geared towards the operation itself and there would be “no unnecessary driving around” with the hired vehicles.
Mr Baki however, did not disclose how much was spent on hiring the vehicles.
Only one escapee, Oliver Ben Gabi, has so far been recaptured. The rest, including Kapris, remain at large.
There were rumours that escapee John Siko Wel had been sighted in the Tokarara and Waigani areas yesterday.
But Commissioner Baki dismissed this. He said: “Information relating to escapees was consistently coming into the police command centre but it was only for police consumption and use and not for public consumption.”