23 Barawagi Prison Escape

BY MARJORIE FINKEO

Twenty-three prisoners rushed for freedom in a mass breakout at Barawagi prison in Chimbu province amid heavy rain last Thursday.

PNG Commissioner of Corrections Stephen Pokanis confirmed yesterday that four people were captured on the same day while the other 19 remain at large.

He said the 23 prisoners broke through the dormitory door and the main door and came out between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. during heavy rain and a power outage.

“When the door fell, there was a huge noise which caught the attention of other prisoners who alerted the guards to the escape.

The guards responded but couldn’t do much because the power was out as the inmates took the opportunity to run, four were caught and taken back to the jail,” Mr Pokanis said.

He said much information was still sketchy as he had not yet received a full report from the prison commander on the incident.

The Acting Commander of Chimbu Provincial Police, Chief Inspector Hougo Buaf is currently out of the province and has not received any information about the escape.

“I am currently attending this year’s provincial budget in Mt Hagen with the provincial government and others. I cannot comment on the prison escape as I have not received a report about it,” Chief Inspector Buafe said.

He said full details of the prison break will be available this week.

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