28 Apr 2015

Escapees still at large in Bougainville

11:22 am on 28 April 2015

Police in the autonomous Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville are still searching for 19 prisoners who escaped from the Buka police jail over a week ago.

The men who escaped during a power blackout include nine convicted murderers, two armed robbers and two rapists.

A man in a fishing canoe/boat in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea

Buka Town in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea Photo: RNZI / Don Wiseman

The Bougainville police commander, Paul Kamuai, says his officers are tracking a group of the men believed to still be together.

"We are working around with all of the information that has been coming in. At this stage I think they are still in a group around the area that we spoke about before, but because they move from place to place they are not able to locate them."

Mr Kamuai says with ongoing preparations for the upcoming elections the escapes are an extra burden on already stretched police resources.