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Prison chief says facility needs work to be secure

Prison chief says facility needs work to be secure

KRATIE provincial prison officials said yesterday that the facility needed to undergo renovations to make it more secure after five inmates escaped last week with the aid of a saw, scarves and blankets.

“We have two wooden buildings with zinc roofs which were built in 1982, and they are very old now,” said Sam Sarorn, the prison chief. “Moreover, on the day of the incident, we could not hear the prisoners sawing through the wall because it was raining very heavily.”

The prison, which was inspected by officials from the Department of Prisons at the Ministry of Interior immediately after the escape, is too old, thin-walled and overcrowded, he said.

“I hope that the Department of Prisons will initiate a plan to renovate the prison buildings because they are already rotten and decaying,” Sam Sarorn said.

Heng Hak, director general of the Department of Prisons at the Ministry of Interior, declined to comment yesterday on whether the prison would be renovated.

Two of the escapees – Ith Samean, 35, and Thoun Nal, 22 – were recaptured shortly after last week’s escape when they attempted to return to their home villages. However, 29-year-old Keo Phea, as well as convicted murderers Yen Nara, 26, and Saom Soknang, 27, still remained at large as of yesterday, Sam Sarorn said.

“We have already sent identifications of those prisoners to police forces throughout the country so that they can help hunt for the prisoners,” he said.

Chan Sokhim, chief of Kratie’s Serious Crimes Bureau, said, “So far, we do not have any clues.”

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