By WALLACE KIALA
THE escapee who played a crucial role in the Jan 12 escape from Bomana prison of William Kapris and 11 others was recaptured yesterday and is in hospital with serious injuries.
Quick action by National Capital District police led to the arrest of John Siko Wel at a residence in Gerehu stage 3 around 1.30pm yesterday.
Acting on a tip-off, police stormed a house where Siko Wel was believed to have been hiding.
While police were searching the house, the escapee ran out and attempted to jump over a fence.
But police shot him in the right side of the leg, near his right knee, which prevented him from getting away.
Siko Wel was taken to the 6-Mile police station for questioning and later rushed to the Port Moresby General Hospital’s accident and emergency ward for treatment to his leg.
His arrest comes several days after the recapture of Ben Oliva near Sogeri and Kapris, who was captured inside a motel room at Gordon in Port Moresby last Saturday.
They were among the 12 who were sprung from the Bomana maximum security unit in a dramatic escape on Jan 12.
Siko Wel was the escapee who led the 12 out of Bomana maximum prison unit after a woman who claimed to be Siko Wel’s “lawyer”, slipped him a gun, which he used against the prison guards.
National Capital District metropolitan commander Chief Supt Fred Yakasa confirmed the arrest yesterday.
He said another man from Enga, who was believed to have harboured Siko Wel, was also arrested.
He said a senior public servant, whose house is next to the house where the escapee was caught, was held for questioning after police found in his home one high-powered M16 rifle, 60 rounds of live ammunition and a police uniform.
Chief Supt Yakasa did not disclose the identities of the two arrested men.
“Siko Wel was jailed in 2004 at Bomana for abduction and rape and was there until he escaped with Kapris and 10 others.
“We are trailing the other nine escapees and it won’t be long before we catch up with them. Let’s put our efforts together, both the public and police,” Chief Supt Yakasa said.
He called on the other nine escapees to surrender as the public would continue to assist police in the recapture exercise.
Police Commissioner Gari Baki said the arrests of Kapris and Siko Wel were a direct result of effective intelligence and networking employed by police personnel assigned with the task of recapturing the prison escapees.
Information obtained from sources at the POMGH last night was that Siko Wel was suffering from heavy loss of blood as a result of the bullet wound.
The bullet smashed his knee, and doctors are considering amputating his right leg at the knee in order to save his life.