Thirteen prisoners, many of them murderers and armed bandits, escaped through a window from a prison in Kompong Cham town early Wednesday morning, the second breakout this month at the jail, police said.
Kompong Cham Provincial Police Chief Kong Sokhorn said the escape was the third at the prison this year, and police are investigating prison guards who are suspected of allowing the escape which took place at around 1 am.
“The prisoners spent many hours to cut the metal bars at the window,” Kong Sokhorn said.
“We worked hard to arrest them, but the prison guards work carelessly. Now all of them have escaped, and the security guards were slow to report it to our police,” he said.
Kompong Cham Provincial Governor Hun Neng, who is also Prime Minister Hun Sen’s brother, ordered police to investigate the prison guards, Kong Sokhorn said.
The escapees are serious offenders, some of them sentenced to as many as 23 years in prison, and police have been deployed to watch the prisoners’ home to see if they return, he added.
Police in six provinces are cooperating to try to find the escapees, but none had been located on Wednesday, provincial deputy police chief Nuon Samin said.
The last prison break occurred Oct 2, but the seven prisoners were arrested within hours of their escape.
They had pushed past unarmed guards and run through the open front gate during an evening bath.