Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce is questioning how far organized crime has permeated to the very highest ranks of our society following last weeks jailbreak from the top security unit at Bomana prison.
According to the Chamber of Commerce the breakout was executed by educated people with access to finance and resources and relied on “inside involvement”.
Meanwhile, senior officers inside the prison service say that the department is rotten with corruption.
Even, Prime Minister Michael Somare has admitted that the country’s correctional service command has lost control.
But, as usual, Somare has denied his government is responsible for the problem despite the fact that the Corrective Services department lacks facilities, technology and the manpower for effective performance.
Somare and his government have committed AUD 1million to help capture the escaped prisoners and claimed that police are in control of the situation.
Nothing could be further from the truth. PNG’s internal security is on the verge of collapse thanks to the mismanagement and corruption fueled by the Somare led, National Alliance government.
PNG has been bedeviled by mass prison breakouts due to lax security, corruption, a lack of political will and pay disputes involving warders.
Correctional Services Commissioner Richard Sikani (who Somare blames for the whole situation), has said “We just don’t have the funding to do our job. If the government was serious about law and order they would give us the money we need. I am short of manpower and many of the jails were built in the 1950s,” he said.
But Sikani does have questions of his own to answer since the Post Courier newspaper reported a Bomana prison guard previously “sidelined” for helping Kapris escape from hospital was also involved in this latest escape.
Meanwhile, Acting Minister for Internal Security, Sam Abal, has appealed for all recent fugitives from jail – some 150 people in all – to hand themselves in to police. This is a pathetic response from a government minister to the critical situation faced by the Corrective Services department for which he is responsible.
As the Chamber of Commerce has said, heads must roll over the jail break – perhaps the Prime Minister and his Minister for Internal Security should be the first to go?