American man on the run after escaping Bali prison
An American man who was detained on drug charges in August escaped an Indonesian jail early Monday and a manhunt is underway.
Chrishan Beasley, 32, who was arrested in August, was allegedly found at a Bali post office with a package containing 5.7 grams of hashish, a drug made from cannabis.
Tonny Nainggolan, head of Kerobokan prison, said Beasley escaped at around 4 a.m. after sawing though a ceiling and jumping over a 20-foot wall behind the prison. Paul Anthony Hoffman, another American, was captured while trying to escape with Beasley.
Hoffman, 57, is serving a 20-month sentence for robbing a number of convenience stores at knifepoint, AFP reported.
"Paul was immediately recaptured by the locals who saw him trying to escape while Chrishan, who climbed up before him, managed to run away," Nainggolan told the news agency.
Nainggolan also said the men may have used a ladder from a construction project at the women’s section of the prison to escape, ABC reported.
An investigation was underway to find out possible involvement of prison guards in the incident, said Surung Pasaribu of the local Law and Human Rights Ministry. He also said there is a shortage of guards for the prison, which was built to accommodate about 300 people but has nearly 1,600 inmates.
It was the second escape from the prison in Bali's capital, Denpasar, since June when four foreign inmates from Australia, Bulgaria, India and Malaysia escaped through a drainage tunnel.
Two of them, Bulgarian Dimitar Nikolov Iliev and Indian Sayed Mohammed Said were recaptured in East Timor days later and were returned to Bali. Two others, Shaun Edward Davidson of Australia and Malaysian Tee Koko King bin Tee Kim Sai are still at large.
Jailbreaks are common in Indonesia, where prisons are overcrowded by people convicted of drug crimes as part of the government's anti-drugs crusade.
In May, more than 440 prisoners escaped from an overcrowded prison on Sumatra island when they were let out to perform Friday Muslim prayers. In July 2013, about 240 prisoners, including several convicted terrorists, escaped during a deadly riot at a prison in another part of Sumatra.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.