Commissioner warns public not to harbour Buimo escapees

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The National, Tuesday 16th April 2013


ESCAPEES from Lae’s Buimo prison who are still at large should be considered dangerous and people must not shelter them, according to a senior CS official.

Deputy Correctional Service commissioner (operations) Michael Waipo said some of the inmates were on remand for serious crimes such as murder, rape and robbery.

He warned people not to harbour them because that in itself was a crime.

More than 40 inmates on remand for various offences at the prison dashed for freedom on Sunday morning. Nineteen were re-captured. 

“These men are dangerous,” Waipo said. 

“It’s a criminal offence to harbour escapees – you can be arrested and charged.” 

He said for the safety of women, children and the elderly, escapees should not be sheltered in the community.

He urged the people of Lae and Morobe to report the sighting of any suspicious person in their communities to police and prison officers.

“A list of the escapees will be published in the media so that people can identify them and report to police and the CS,” Waipo said. 

Waipo said details about the escape were sketchy at this stage but an investigating team from the CS headquarters in Port Moresby was in Lae to investigate.

They will investigate how the escape occurred, the officers on duty and the nature of the escape.

Waipo said the earlier breakout from Madang jail and the one from Buimo on Sunday were “very unfortunate” and were being looked into seriously by prisons authorities.

“These escapes have made us think about our current security arrangements and how best we can improve it,” Waipo said.

He said many of the jail facilities were built in the colonial era and needed urgent renovation and maintenance.