By JULIA DAIA BORE and DULCIE OREKE
ACTING Minister for Internal Security, Sam Abal, has appealed to the 12 fugitives who escaped from the Bomana Maximum Security Unit outside Port Moresby last Tuesday to turn themselves in to the police.
“(They can) make it easier for the police as well as themselves by handing themselves in,” Mr Abal said at a media conference last Friday.
“I want to also appeal to the criminals, particularly William Kapris, and all their relatives to encourage the fugitives to surrender themselves to the police so that the communities we all live in are safer and peaceful as they have been while the escapees were behind bars.
“You are wanted for armed robbery, rape and you were put in jail for these reasons. But what we see is that he (Kapris) has escaped again.
“I appeal particularly to Mr Kapris. The fact that you have been put in jail means you have done something wrong and the community including the Government and everyone does not accept this.
“You are a criminal, you have broken the law, you have to surrender to the police. You have to surrender because in PNG we’ve had this thing going on for too long.
“I think we have kind of become complacent to the extent of being negligent of our citizens’ duty to uphold and to encourage law. And I think that has gone far enough and I have instructed the police to quickly bring these people (prison escapees who total more than 150 prisoners) to justice. Bring them back.
“I am sure, definitely sure, that the people of PNG and everyone including your own relatives, the relatives of the escapees, the families, their brothers and sisters, community leaders, the province, the districts – wherever you are from – you are doing an injustice by circulating in the community, a community which loves law and order. A community that is crying out for peace and you are breaking that peace. I think it is only proper that you turn yourself in.
“Turn yourself in and make the police work easier but also there is also the danger of people being shot and all that comes into play. So, I think my warning and my appeal to the escapees is to give yourselves up to the police,” Mr Abal said.
He also called on anyone with any information regarding the escapees to ring the three 24-hours hotlines at the Boroko Command Centre.
He said: “Whether you are a disciplined officer or a public servant or a businessman or a business worker, the whole of the community must cooperate in this matter. So, it is important that we take ownership of this issue and the community.
“I appeal to you to rise up against this sort of thing: armed robbery, killing and stealing – all this type of thing is an adverse type of thing to PNG and I think that … community in PNG do not like this sort of thing,” the Internal Security Minister said, adding: “I would like to appeal to the relatives of these escapees to tell them to come back and give themselves up to the authorities.
“To allow the law to search until it takes you (escapees) in alive or dead is not a good thing to do.
“It is better that you surrender yourself to the authorities,” he said.