3 warders held over jailbreak

Main Stories, National


POLICE arrested three Correctional Services officers yesterday in connection with the escape of alleged bank robbery mastermind William Kapris and 11 other dangerous prisoners.
The three warders were taken to the Boroko Police Station and locked up yesterday.
They were questioned by police investigating the Jan 12 escape by the 12 from the maximum security unit at Bomana jail outside Port Moresby.
The three warders have been charged under Sections 138 and 140 of the PNG Criminal Code with aiding and abetting the escape of the prisoners.
National Capital District metropolitan commander, Supt Fred Yakasa, confirmed yesterday afternoon that the three men had been arrested and locked up at the Boroko police cells for questioning while more investigations were still being carried out.
He said two of the officers were the ones manning the maximum security unit gates at the time of the escape, while the third was the one who had called the two officers to tell them that a lady, a human rights “lawyer”, was on her way to visit a prisoner client.
Supt Yakasa said police believe the three officers had breached all security procedures of the CS.
“The permission to allow visitors into the maximum security unit only comes from three people: the deputy Correctional Services Commissioner (Operations), the Correctional Services Commissioner, or a National Court judge who heads criminal matters. None of these people gave that permission,” Supt Yakasa said.
He said the officers manning the maximum security unit at the time were senior officers who had been in the job for a long time and should have had vast knowledge of the security and visitation
“We believe it is a planned thing, as there was a clear breach of security. The officers know very well that they cannot act upon orders from elsewhere unless it’s from the three authorities,” Supt Yakasa said.
He said the three officers would be thoroughly questioned about their alleged involvement and that of others.
He said the names of the three warders could not be disclosed at this stage as investigations were still in progress. They will appear in committal court today.
Kapris and 11 others were sprung from the jail on Jan 12, allegedly by a female who posed as a lawyer for one of the prisoners. She allegedly slipped through a gun, which the prisoners used to detain the warders before they escaped. None of the prisoners nor the female “lawyer” have been captured.
Police are offering a reward of K10,000 for the capture, or information that could lead to the capture of the 12.