29 Sep 2008

Vanuatu police hunting for five prison escapees

2:54 pm on 29 September 2008

Vanuatu police remain on the hunt for five high risk offenders who have broken out of the Port Vila Correctional Services Centre.

Nine inmates escaped from the high security section of the prison ten days ago, after reportedly using bush knives to threaten staff.

30 police officers are now running the prison following a series of escapes in the past year.

The Ministry of Justice acting director general Mereisi Shem says of the most recent escapes, two prisoners have surrendered and two others have been recaptured by police.

"We're trying to figure out the purpose of their coming out because as far as we're concerned at this point in time, it's gone on for two weeks and we haven't had any reports of crimes yet so we can't figure things out."

Mereisi Shem says a Commission of Inquiry is investigating how the nine men escaped.