Jailbreak, 60 escape
Another jail break in the country. The general public is to take precautions with children and family when moving around.
By JAMES GUMUNO
MORE than 60 prisoners escaped from Bei-ubi in yet another jailbreak in the country on Friday morning.
The mass breakout in the Southern Highlands prison follows escapes from Buimo (Lae) last week, Wewak last month and at least 70 from Buimo a year ago when 11 were shot dead. There were other escapes in between.
Assistant Police Commissioner Kaiglo Ambane, the Highlands Western End divisional commander, told The National yesterday from Mendi that prisoners broke out on Friday at about 4am and as many as 80 could have escaped.
POLICE were only informed of the breakout on Monday.
Ambane raised grave concern about overcrowding in the metropolitan jail in the Western End last week.
He said that he was yet to get a full report on the prison break.
Between 60 and 80 prisoners smashed their way to freedom from the overcrowded prison and all were on the run, Ambane said.
The exact number of escapees is yet to be established and how it happened.
Ambane said police were not called in to assist Correctional Services at the time.
Ambane stopped police from Hela and Southern Highlands from making new arrests last week because the Mendi police cell and Bei-ubi could not take any more people.
Ambane said the prison had a capacity to hold to 150 people at any one time, but was forced to accommodate 210 prisoners last week just before the breakout.
He said the jail was facing an acute shortage of CS officers, with 30 of the 40 officers working,” , Ambane said.
“The jail requires a staffing of 80”
He predicted the situation would get worse when the gun amnesty period expired on the 28th of this month and more people got arrested.
The jail commander could not be contacted for comment.