29 Dec 2010

Eight Vanuatu inmates escape

6:21 pm on 29 December 2010

Eight high-risk Vanuatu prisoners, who have escaped from the maximum security prison in Port Vila, are still on the run.

The Vanuatu Correctional Services in Port Vila says the men escaped during Family Day celebrations on Monday evening.

Philippa Tolley has more details:

"This break-out is just the latest in a string of escapes from Vanuatu's jail. In May, a group of six men broke out of Port Vila jail, dubbed Container City. Two years ago, 30 inmates escaped after a fire was started and serious complaints were made about conditions at the prison. The escapees this time include Paul Shem who was recaptured in May, after being on the run for more than a year. The Director of the Vanuatu Correctional Services, Johnny Marango, has told the Daily Post it appears the prisoners cut open the mesh wire in a recreational hall and then jumped over a fence and made their escape. New Zealand has provided funding to build a new prison, but agreements with customary landowners were only signed last month."