‘Careless’ guards leave Ratanakikiri prisoners on lam

Ratanakikiri Provincial Prison authorities yesterday continued to search for two inmates who escaped from the provincial prison on Thursday, according to an official.

Sorn Keo, spokesman for the provincial prisons department, claimed the inmates escaped when prison guards took them to a separate location to build furniture. The inmates were identified by National Police as Reach Sopheak, who was serving time for theft, and Chea Buntheng, who was detained for a drug-related offence.

Both inmates had about six months left on their sentences, Keo said.

“Our authorities are cooperating with other [provincial] authorities to search for them and bring them back to prison,” he said. “We don’t know why they wanted to escape. If we arrest them, they will face another punishment in compliance with the Penal Code, and they would serve another two to three years.”

Keo said the guards must have been “careless” giving the inmates the opportunity to escape. Provincial prison director Tin Sovanny could not be reached for comment.