Indonesian police have launched a search for four foreign inmates, who escaped from an overcrowded prison on the resort island of Bali by crawling through a narrow tunnel dug under the walls, authorities said on Monday.
"The tunnel is about 12 metres long and we suspect it took more than a week to build," the head of Kerobokan prison Tony Nainggolan said, adding that police believed the men were still in Bali and not far from the prison.
The four are Australian Shaun Edward Davidson, Bulgarian Dimitar Nikolov Iliev, Indian Sayed Muhammad Said and Malaysian Tee Kok King, Bali police spokesman Hengky Widjaja said. The tunnel had a diameter of 50 x 75 cm and was found filled with water on Monday morning, Widjaja said.
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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 and authorities launched an investigation last month after around 350 inmates broke out of an overcrowded jail on Sumatra island in Riau Province.