By WALLACE KIALA
THE woman “law-yer” who helped suspected bank robber William Nanua Kapris and 11 others escape from the Bomana maximum security facility on Jan 12 was arrested in a house at the Talai settlement in Badili, NCD, on Saturday.
What shocked NCD metropolitan commander Chief Supt Fred Yakasa was that she happened to be from the same village as him and is a relative.
“That showed that people from everywhere and anywhere can get involved in this sort of thing, and not just from one area,” he told a media conference yesterday. The woman was identified as Helen Mark Kuipa, 26, from Kupalis village in Wabag, Enga province.
Chief Supt Yakasa said she might be educated to Grade 11 or 12, or maybe first year at the university.
But she was not a lawyer, he said.
She was caught between 8pm and 10pm at Talai settlement following a tip-off.
Prior to that, she had been moving around from Gerehu to Morata and 9-Mile.
Chief Supt Yakasa said after the Jan 12 escape, Helen had spent one-and-a-half weeks with the fugitives, including Kapris, in and around Sogeri before they made their way back into the city and went separate ways into hiding in various locations.
He said Helen was flown from Lae to Port Moresby in December to play her role in the scheme, to go in and take out the prisoners.
He said her role to pose as a human rights lawyer for prisoner John Siko Wel was planned for her.
Chief Supt Yakasa said after her admission to helping the prisoners escape from Bomana prison, police found that the escape was alleged to have been engineered through her “very close” relationship with BSP bank robbery suspect Kapris.
Helen has been charged with one count of aiding the escape of Siko Wel. She was charged under section 138(a) chapter 262 of the Criminal Code. She faces 11 other charges under this section for the 11 other prisoners who escaped.
She is likely to be charged with armed robbery, impersonating a lawyer and deprivation of liberty. She faces a total of 14 charges.
Chief Supt Yakasa said the Major Organised Crime Investigation Team (MOSIT) was still interrogating Helen on her involvement in the escape and to verify any alleged connection she might have had in relation to the BSP bank robberies of 2008.
He said Helen was cooperating well with police investigators.
He said they were piecing together clues to the puzzle.
“We are getting information about the whole drama. Members of the public with information should come forward.”
Five escapees from the Jan 12 breakout still remain at large. Last Friday, five escapees who broke out from Bomana last September surrendered to police.