Four foreign inmates make daring escape from Bali’s notorious Kerobokan prison

The inmates crawled through a narrow tunnel dug under the walls

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 June, 2017, 3:40pm
UPDATED : Monday, 19 June, 2017, 10:25pm

Four foreign inmates escaped early Monday from a prison on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, police said.

Prison officers became aware of the escape while conducting a morning check of inmates at the Kerobokan penitentiary in Bali’s capital, Denpasar, said Putu Ika Prabawa, an officer at Bali’s Kuta Utara police station.

The four men were serving sentences for different crimes, from immigration rules violation to drug crimes.

Prabawa said the four men were believed to have escaped through a 50-by-70-centimetre hole found in a wall that connects to a 15-metre-long water tunnel heading toward a main street.

He identified the four as Shaun Edward Davidson, 33, of Australia; Dimitar Nikolov Iliev, 43, of Bulgaria; Sayed Mohammed Said, 31, of India; and Tee Koko King bin Tee Kim Sai, 50, of Malaysia.

The remaining jail time for 33-year-old Australian Davidson, who was sentenced to a year in prison for breaking immigration laws, was 2 months and 15 days, while 31-year-old Indian Said had 12 years and 3 months to serve for drug offences.

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Prabawa said police have distributed pictures of the escaped inmates to police stations across Bali.

Kerobokan houses a fairly large number of foreign inmates, given Bali’s status as an international holiday destination and transport hub.

The head of the prison said that 10 guards were on duty on Sunday night when the escape is believed to have taken place.

Indonesian prisons are frequently overcrowded and a war on drugs being led by the government of President Joko Widodo has triggered a spike in the number of convicted drug offenders, stretching an already overwhelmed jail system.

The capacity of Kerobakan is 323 inmates, but it currently houses more than four times that number at 1,378, according to government data.

Prison escapes are fairly common in Indonesia. Last week, dozens of inmates escaped from an overcrowded prison in western Indonesia after floods caused a wall to collapse.

Last month, more than 440 prisoners escaped from an overcrowded prison on Sumatra island when they were let out of their cells to take part in Friday Muslim prayers. In July 2013, about 240 prisoners, including several convicted terrorists, escaped during a deadly riot at a prison in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province.

Additional reporting by Reuters