Illegal items in prison

National, Normal

The National – Friday, June 17, 2011

THE Correctional Ser­vice has started “Operation Klinim Baisu” at Baisu jail, outside Mt Hagen, Western Highlands, to flush out contraband smuggled into the prison compound by prisoners and CS officers to help inmates riot or stage mass break-outs .
Commanding officer Simon Sobaim said the operation aimed to maintain prison management standards and coincided with the institution’s goal to provide safety for the people living in Mt Hagen city and nearby areas.
He said people living near the prison compound warned of another major break-out planned before the 2012 national election.
“I set a jail contingency plan and did quick search in the prisoners’ compound where we confiscated one brand new hacksaw handle frame, two brand new hacksaw blades and brand new tin snip,” Sobaim said.
He said after another tip-off from some prisoners in the jail, officers searched and found a 10kg bag of marijuana and a substantial amount of cash, five mobile phones SIM cards, two phone chargers, two bush knives, 14 large dry cell batteries and a pair of scissors.
“The hacksaw handle frame, blades and tin snip (wire cutter) were smuggled into the compound and delivered to the National Court remandees by CS officers,” he said.
Sobaim said after the search and confiscation of contraband, the prisoners gave information on the planned escape and how they contributed money to compensate warders for their help.
“We will continuously conduct searches and crack-down on illegal activities involving prisoners and warders.
“We will keep Baisu free of betrayers and black- mailers,” he said.
Sobaim said their motto was “zero tolerance for escapes in 2011 and 2012”.
He said past experience in many prisons had shown mass breakouts occurred with outside help during election time because candidates wanted to use prisoners during their election campaign.
Sobaim warned warders to stop all illegal activities and to carry out their duties professionally.