20 Jan 2010

PNG Correctional Services Head claims Bomana escape an inside job

8:50 pm on 20 January 2010

Papua New Guinea's Correctional Services Commissioner has reportedly claimed a prison official was paid a bribe of K30,000 or over 11 thousand US dollars to aid the escape of twelve high-risk prisoners from the Bomana facility last week.

The group of inmates, including the high profile bank robbery suspect William Kapris, broke out of Bomana Maximum Security Unit near Port Moresby last Tuesday and remains at large.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that the Commissioner, Richard Sikani, told his staff that an officer at Bomana received a series of payments to assist the escape.

The escape brings to 115 the total number of high-risk criminals who have escaped from prisons in PNG since December.

In the first incident, 11 high risk prisoners "walked" out of Barawagi jail in Chimbu province on December 11th, with only six having since been recaptured.

In the second incident, 73 inmates at the Buimo jail outside Lae city took the jail commander hostage and used him as a human shield to make their escape - warders however recaptured two and shot one dead.

On Christmas eve 19 prisoners ran away from the Buiebi jail in the Southern Highlands.

Provincial police said there were no guards manning the prison at the time of the escape.

Three have been recaptured.

With the 12 escapees still on the run from last week's Bomana breakout, at least a hundred prisoners remain on the run in PNG.