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THE PORT Moresby Chamber of Commerce has expressed disgust at the escape of 12 prisoners, including cop killer William Kapris, from the maximum security division at Bomana Gaol.

It has been revealed that the escape involved a suspended warder who was involved in a previous escape by Kapris from Port Moresby General Hospital in 2008.

The Chamber of Commerce says heads must roll over the rash of escapes from PNG’s major prisons. It noted that 140 prisoners had escaped from prisons around the country in recent times.

“There are too many nagging questions about this incident, ”said a spokesman for the Chamber, “which makes us wonder how far organised crime has permeated into the higher ranks of our society.”

He said a cleanup of Corrective Services was required and urged the government to act immediately and suspend those responsible.

Several unnamed senior officers from Corrective Services said the department was “a family company” and “rotten with corruption.”

Source: ‘Suspended CS officer helps out in the great escape’ by Mohammad Bashir, PNG Post-Courier, Friday 15 January


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Reginald Renagi

The buck always stops with the PM. It's about time the PM took charge of a very bad situation that has now posed a serious national security threat to the community due to the incompetence of the Correctional Institution Services Ministry.

It was most disappointing to watch several press conferences by both the Minister and his CIS boss on TV. The Minister blames the junior ranking guards for the escape by some high-risk prisoners from Bomana jail just outside Port Moresby.

To make the whole TV press conference look a farce, many PNGeans saw the CIS boss smiling at the cameras and telling all and sundry along with his Minister on how the whole escape took place. Both men expressed no shame at all on how this shocking escape incident looked for their own Ministry.

Neither Miniter Tony Aimo or his CIS Commissioner immediately took any direct responsibility and accountability for this major security beach. Both the Minister and Commissioner public statements were most unprofessional. They should not have gone into the details of how the whole prison break was master-minded, and other speculations whilst a preliminary internal investigations by the CIS was still going on.

This is a no-no so the sidelining of both men from their jobs realy comes as no surprise. The public are right to be very angry with the jail boss and his organization's incompetence in allowing this major prison break.

The government must address their demands for action now instead of just forking out more money each time there is a nation-wide public outcry. This could have all being prevented in the first place. Now the people have to fork out some K2 or 3 million of public money to chase after the prisoners and catch them (if we catch them), investigate the whole thing; and take some action (if any) to deter future incidents of this nature.

A new proactive Minister must now immediately be appointed to take charge of this national manhunt and clean up the mess in the CIS Ministry. The PM has his hands full with many other issues still outstanding for many years.

PM's Media Unit

----- Original Message -----
From: "Betha Somare"

> To all media,
> This is to advise that the Prime Minister had met with Minister Tony Aimo on 19 January and informed him that he will remain Minister but without portfolio.
> The Correctional Services portfolio will be vested with the Prime Minister until further notice and after an investigation is carried out.

Reginald Renagi

Robin/Rossco: Note your comments. I am also aware of this situation with some overseas government's use of outsourcing the administration of state prisons to private prison management service providers. You are right for the government in PNG to exercise extreme caution here although it is an alternative option.


Similarly in Victoria where employees of privatised security at prisons have been alleged to have been associated with drug smuggling into the prisons and indecently dealing with female prisoners

Robin Mead

While Correctional Services may need systemic overhaul, I'd urge a certain amount of caution with private prison firms. They're not exactly covered in glory in parts of Australia, so external independent scrutiny would be essential. There was a shocker of a story last year (again on ABC Four Corners) involving sub-contracted private guards from a large international security group who were inadequately trained and/or supervised, operating with inadequate equipment and were involved in the accidental but utterly avoidable death of a respected indigenous Australian from heat stress. The WA State authorities later admitted a string of systemic failures. Privatisation of services needs to be very closely monitored.

Reginald Renagi

The Correctional Institutional Services immediately needs a total overhaul as a result of this recent major prison management debacle.

The government has not properly funded prisons throughout the country. It is time now for it to study other effective ways to improve the prison management and make wide-ranging reforms to prevent future recurrences of this nature.

Maybe it is time to look at professional International private prison management firms to take over the running of the major prisons in PNG.

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