Chinese death-row inmate digs tunnel to escape Indonesian jail

Updated 23 Sep 2020

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Officers check the culvert used by a Chinese prisoner to escape in Tangerang, Banten on September 18. — AFP
Officers check the culvert used by a Chinese prisoner to escape in Tangerang, Banten on September 18. — AFP

TANGERANG: A Chinese drug trafficker on death row escaped from a jail near Indonesia’s capital after digging a 30-metre (100 feet) tunnel from his cell, police said.

Cai Ji Fan, sentenced to death in 2017 for trafficking 110 kilogrammes (230 pounds) of methamphetamine, broke out of Tangerang prison in Banten last week via the narrow tunnel, which connected to a sewer, officials said.

“This is the second time he escaped,” said Tangerang police’s chief Sugeng Hariyanto, adding he also managed to get out of the National Police Criminal Investigation Department cells in Jakarta while on remand.

Officials said Cai had invited his cellmate to join him, but he had declined.

Authorities said they had recovered a crowbar, chisel, screwdriver and other tools used to dig the hole, speculating he may have got them from building work being done on a prison kitchen.

Cai’s first escape was in January 2017 via a hole he made in a bathroom wall using an iron rod.

Along with other prisoners, he then climbed a 2.5-metre (eight-feet) wall, but was recaptured in West Java three days later.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2020