16 escapees shot dead in PNG

Photo: PNG Correctional Service

Sixteen inmates were shot dead while attempting to escape from a prison, one is in hospital and seven are on the run, according to PNG Correctional Services (CS) commissioner, Stephen Pokanis.

“(Altogether) 24 prisoners escaped by cutting the fence at the back of the (West New Britain’s Lakiemata) prison’s high security compound, but were caught and shot at by CS,” he said.

“Seven are on the run. This break-out is the second.

“The (first) one (was) in October 2022.”

He also confirmed with The National that one of the escapees was in critical condition at the Kimbe General Hospital. He said the 16 bodies were transported to the Kimbe General Hospital morgue while the search for the seven escapees was continuing.

Information received by The National revealed that some of the seven escapees on the run were injured during the shooting.

During last October’s break-out, 26 prisoners escaped after cutting the outer fence of the facility. Only two were recaptured while 24 are still on the run.

Meanwhile, Pokanis appealed to the public and families of the seven prisoners on the run to do the right thing and surrender them to the police.

“These seven belong to prison and they must bring them back,” he said. “Once they are back in prison, they can complete their sentences and go back to their families,” he said.