PNG criminals in mass jail-break before Clinton visit

Some of PNG`s most notorious criminals have escaped from a max security unit just ahead of visit by US Secy of State Hillary Clinton.

Updated: Jan 13, 2010, 15:26 PM IST

Port Moresby: Some of Papua New Guinea`s
most notorious criminals have escaped from a maximum security
unit just ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton, officials said today.

Twelve prisoners, including three on death row, broke out
of Bomana prison outside the capital Port Moresby early
yesterday after a woman posing as a lawyer smuggled in a gun.

They are all still at large, a government source told.

"The 12 hardcore criminals were kept in maximum
security," she said.

Security has been stepped up in the impoverished but
resource-rich South Pacific island nation, where police are on
"high alert" ahead of Clinton`s six-hour visit on Thursday,
the source added.

Reports said PNG`s most dangerous underworld figure
William Kapris, who was awaiting trial over bank robberies and
also stands accused of rape, a plane hijacking and a police
officer`s murder, was among those on the loose.

PNG officials reportedly described the break-out, which
follows another involving 40 prisoners from Bomana last month,
as a national security issue.

The Business Council of Papua New Guinea emailed its
members urging them to take extra precautions when moving
around Port Moresby, previously described by the Economist
Intelligence Unit as the worst city in the world to live.