The National, Monday 15th April, 2013
By PISAI GUMAR
FORTY-four prisoners on remand broke out of Buimo jail, outside of Lae, Morobe, just a month after 48 prisoners escaped from neighbouring Madang’s Beon jail.
The remandees took advantage of the milling prisoners from other cells and CIS families gathering for church services yesterday morning to make good their escape, Buimo commander Supt Judy Tala said.
Quick CS and police action resulted in the recapture of 19 including one shot dead.
Among the recaptured, one was reported to be dead and others were brought to Angau Memorial Hospital accident and emergency unit to be diagnosed for injuries sustained.
Twenty-five are still at large.
Tala confirmed the mass breakout occurred at 9.30am yesterday.
She offered no immediate reason for the escape.
Remandees are those who are still awaiting court trial but who have been refused bail.
Tala said: “Due to old rundown fences getting rusted, the remandees just walked, climbed over and escaped on foot taking refuge in nearby settlements.
“The duty officers immediately alerted both duty and off duty officers to combine and pursue the escapees.”
She said some people in nearby settlements at West Taraka and East along Bumbu River prevented CS officers and so police reinforcements were called in.
The escapees who resorted to hiding in thickets were recaptured.
Police arrived immediately to assist, pursue and went into nearby settlements and recaptured 19.
“We (CS) have been negotiating with the judges’ office regarding overcrowding situation at the remandees’ cell but the reasons behind the mass break out is yet to be known,” Tala said.
She said that CS headquarters was advised about the incident and a team would fly to Lae today (Monday) to conduct internal investigations.
Lae metropolitan commander Iven Lakatani warned the escapee’s to surrender voluntarily because they were a threat to public.
“We will never tolerate because police will mount up operational procedures and go to all settlements,” he said.
“I am appealing to parents and relatives of the escapees, including anyone who try to harbour or shelter them (escapees), to cooperate and ensure they voluntarily surrender,” Lakatani said.