17 Mar 2008

Five prisoners remain on the run in Vanuatu capital

7:42 pm on 17 March 2008

Vanuatu's Correctional Services Department says five prisoners from the main prison in Port Vila remain on the run.

22 prisoners escaped ten days ago when a Corrections Administrator mistakenly opened the gate of the prison.

A campaign involving media, community leaders and chiefs was launched to entice the inmates back.

The director of Correctional Services, Michael Taun, says those inmates still on the loose are not among the more dangerous criminals.

"Then ones who are on the run now, they're all on property offences. We've already made contact with three of them on mobile phone this morning, so we'll be picking them up after lunch."

Michael Taun has dismissed reports the prisoners escaped in protest at receiving no response to their request to Vanuatu's President to pardon them.

He says it was an unrealistic request which never made it past his desk anyway.