Five prisoners escaped from Kampong Speu Provincial Prison yesterday morning, leaving prison officials and authorities scrambling to track them down.
According to Interior Ministry Prison Department spokesman San Keo, the prisoners – Long Bunnat, Run Rany, Khun Sophoeun, Keo Em and Sum Mouch – escaped around 2am yesterday. “One was convicted of murder and the others were charged with possessing, using, and distributing drugs,” he said.
Prison officials are sharing photos of the escapees with police departments nationwide and will also post the pictures to the National Police website in hopes that officers and citizens will help locate them.
Deputy Prosecutor and Kampong Speu Provincial Court spokesman Ou Phat inspected the facility and interrogated prisoners and officials yesterday morning, finding that a week before their escape they landed in the prison clinic after reporting strange symptoms, including shortness of breath and swollen legs. Phat said 24 prisoners are currently suffering the same symptoms.
He concluded that the prisoners escaped from the clinic by using scarves and bed sheets to bend the bars on a door. “Then, they walked to the northern part of the building and climbed the concrete wall on the prison campus,” he said.
As of yesterday, the authorities had no clues as to where the prisoners may have fled.
“This case requires more investigation,” said Kampong Speu Provincial Police Chief Sam Samuon.