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About 73 prisoners including convicts and remandees at the Papua New Guinea’s (PNG0 Buimo jail in Lae have dashed for freedom by using the jail commander Chief Superintendent Samson Jaro as a human shield on Wednesday
This was revealed by one senior correctional service staff member at the jail. The escapees include 22 convicts and 51 remandees with most of whom are high risk prisoners.
However, two were recaptured and one was shot dead.
The officer said that earlier, about 10 prisoners escaped while Chief Supt Jaro and his driver were in town. He said the other big group escaped when commander Jaro went to address the inmates when he learnt of the escape on his return.
The officer said that when the jail commander went into the prisoners’ compound, they grabbed him and pulled him to the back of the compound, and at the same time demanded the tower guards not to shoot as they used him as a human shield.
The officer said that while the inmates dragged Mr Jaro towards the fence to the rear side of the compound, others threw stones at the tower guards and compound guards who took cover as the objects thrown at them were too many to avoid at the same time.
The officer said that while at the back of the compound the inmates cut through the fence and a large number of inmates went through and ran up the mountains to freedom.
He said meanwhile, Chief Supt Jaro was knocked unconscious in the process for almost two hours at the prisoners’ compound gate.
The officer could not verify the injuries or harm inflicted on commander Jaro but said that he was knocked out “cold” and later rushed to the hospital by his men.
The CS officer also said that police response to the incident was late as the prisoners were gone by the time police arrived.
Meanwhile, a frustrated Mamose region Assistant Commissioner of police (ACP) Giossi said that he could not blame the CS for the mass breakout.
He said CS officers at Buimo were understaffed with about 19 to 20 officers while there were more than 700 inmates which is just too much.
Commander Labi said that the Government should seriously look at increasing manpower and resources at jails with breakouts at Bomana, Mount Hagen and now in Lae, which was a very big problem.
He said to have 73 inmates on the loose is a huge concern. “I have a problem, CS have their problems. We have no money and no resources and the Government must really address this issue”, a frustrated Mr Labi said
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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