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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prison guard now an inmate after jailbreak

Prison guard now an inmate after jailbreak

A guard charged with facilitating the escape of an inmate from Kampong Chhnang Provincial Prison has been incarcerated at the very facility he worked at, officials told the Post yesterday.

Prak Vudy, Kampong Chhnang provincial police chief, said 29-year-old Tep Chanmakara was charged at the provincial court on Saturday with “providing the means” for 30-year-old inmate Ear Tal to escape.

“The suspect has been detained at the provincial prison instead of the prisoner who he helped,” Vudy said.

Tal, who had already served half of his five-year sentence for stealing a motorbike, broke out of the jail on Tuesday evening by sawing the bars off of his cell’s window.

When the Post spoke to officials yesterday, Tal was still at large.

At the scene of the escape, in the prison’s B1 cell, police found the saw along with seven scarves, a bamboo tube and a basket, which Chanmakara is accused of purchasing.

“According to other prisoners, Chanmakara received some money from Tal,” Vudy said.

Pao Vuthy, the director of Kampong Chhnang prison, said that he hoped the action against Chanmakara would help prevent further abetting of breakouts.

It is being “used as an example for the prison guards to stop helping the prisoners from escaping”.

“We hope that after this case, none of our prison guards will do that again,” he said.

Vuthy said Tal’s cellmate, who also tried to escape on Tuesday evening, had told police about Chanmakara’s role in the breakout.

He added that the damage to the cell’s window was being repaired yesterday.

Tal’s escape came just weeks after two prisoners in Kampot province fled to freedom after being taken 17 kilometres away from the prison to help construct a new building for incarceration.

Rights group Licadho said Tal was the sixth inmate it was aware of who had escaped from prison this year, compared with three escapes recorded last year.



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