By DULCIE OREKE
THE hunt for William Kapris and 11 other dangerous prison escapes was stepped up yesterday with the deployment of about 500 police and Correctional Services personnel.
Police Commissioner Gari Baki is also back in command as top cop and has set up a National Crime Coordination Centre (NCCC) at the police headquarters in Konedobu to coordinate the hunt for the escapees.
The stepped up manhunt will initially cover the National Capital District, but will be extended to other provinces if required and when funding is made available.
The massive operation was launched when the promised K1.5 million from the National Government was deposited in the Police Department’s accounts.
Roadblocks into and out of the city will be stepped up, and all vehicles searched, regardless of who is in the vehicle. The operation will run for a month.
During a parade at Reke Street in Boroko yesterday, National Capital District Metropolitan Superintendent, Chief Supt Fred Yakasa, called for a united effort to recapture the escapees.
“We have to be united in this cause.
“The Government, the community and everybody is looking at us,” Chief Supt Yakasa told police personnel.
He told them no one can be trusted in this day and age, and nothing must be left to chance.
He gave directives for all vehicles to be thoroughly checked at roadblocks regardless of their occupants, even if they were from a disciplinary force such as the police.
There are many “Judases” around and those caught will be isolated, dealt with and exposed publicly, he said. He was referring to law enforcement officers who assist criminals and lawbreakers.
Chief Supt Yakasa warned the public to refrain from habouring the escapees and turn them in to police.
The K1.5 million allocation will go towards facilitating the operation including the hiring of cars and boats, overtime allowances for police personnel, roadblocks, torches, petrol and other basic materials needed for the operation.
Chief Supt Yakasa said the three warders and one civilian who were arrested for their alleged involvement in the breakout at Bomana were tight-lipped during questioning.
He said the men had compromised their positions when all protocol was breached on the day of the escape on Jan 12.
Chief Supt Yakasa said police have been checking various locations in Port Moresby and Central as far as the coastlines and highways.
So far this week, police have managed to recapture one escapee from last October’s breakout.
Chief Supt Yakasa said Peter Kuman Kaupa, from Gumine in the Simbu province, had escaped while serving his term for the murder of a pilot in Lae.