Friday, January 22, 2010

Hunt hots up for prison escapees

By DULCIE OREKE in The National


THE hunt for William Kapris and 11 other dangerous prison escapes was stepped up yesterday with the deployment of about 500 police and Correctional Services personnel.

Police Commissioner Gari Baki is also back in command as top cop and has set up a National Crime Coordination Centre (NCCC) at the police headquarters in Konedobu to coordinate the hunt for the escapee.

The stepped up manhunt is initially for the National Capital District, but would be extended to other provinces if required and when funding is made available.

The massive operation was launched with the promised K1.5 million from the National Government now in the police accounts for use.

Roadblocks into and out of the city will be stepped up, and all vehicles searched, regardless of who is in the vehicle.

The operation will run for a month.

During a parade at Reke Street in Boroko yesterday, National Capital District Metropolitan Superintendent, Chief Supt Fred Yakasa, called for a united effort to retake the escapees.

“We have to be united in this course.

“The Government, the community and everybody is looking at us”.

He told them no one could be trusted in this day and age, and nothing must be left to chance.

He gave directives for all vehicles to be thoroughly checked at roadblocks regardless of its occupants, even if they were from a disciplinary force such as the police.

There are many “Judases” around and those caught would be isolated, dealt with and exposed publicly.

 He was referring to law enforcement officers who assist criminals and lawbreakers.

Mr Yakasa warned the public to refrain from habouring the escapees and turn them in to police.

The K1.5million allocation will go towards facilitating the operation including the hiring of cars and boats, overtime allowances, roadblocks, torches, patrol and other basic materials needed for the operation. 

Mr Yakasa said the three warders and one civilian who were arrested for their alleged involvement in the breakout at Bomana were tight-lipped during questioning.

He said the men had compromised their positions when all protocol was breached on the day of the escape on Jan 12.

Mr Yakasa said police had been checking various locations in Port Moresby and Central province as far as the coastlines and highways.

So far this week, police have managed to capture one escapee from last October’s breakout.

Mr Yakasa said Peter Kuman Kaupa from Gumine in the Simbu province escaped while serving his term for the murder of a pilot in Lae.


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