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Naisilisili recalls Maximum prison breach in 2000

  Following the escape of the seven inmates from the Naboro Corrections Complex yesterday, a retired Corrections officer recalled the last known time the maximum facility was breached. When it
25 Dec 2018 11:25
Naisilisili recalls Maximum prison breach in 2000
Seveci Naisilisili.

 

Following the escape of the seven inmates from the Naboro Corrections Complex yesterday, a retired Corrections officer recalled the last known time the maximum facility was breached.

When it comes to prison break, you can count on 65-year-old Seveci Naisilisili to know a thing or two about it.

Mr Naisilisili also happened to be one of 20 Corrections officers to be held hostage during the 2000 coup when inmates breached the facility and locked the officers inside the cell blocks.

This is Mr Naisilisili’s story.

“In 2000 coup, the inmates had taken over the Maximum prison block where I was posted as the prison officer,” he said at his home in Kalokolevu Village in Naboro.

“All the officers including me, were kept hostage from Saturday till Tuesday until the Military and Corrections officers took over. We were counting our lucky stars that no one was hurt or killed by the inmates during that time.

“Being a hostage was like a nightmare.

“We were all working when we got a call from the officers upstairs of what happened and they needed our assistance urgently.

“When we ran up we were all locked up in the prison and the escapees had escaped.

“Most of the time, the inmates were engaged with the prison officers who assisted them. Other times we had found that the grills of the windows were cut by the axe blades.”

Mr Naisilisili said they found out that when the inmates went for their court cases, these were times they got their hands on the implements.

“There were many occasions where it was found that the inmates escaped either with the help of prison officers or cut the grills of the window and jumped out,” he said.

“When the prisoners came back from court, they carried the axe blades with them. It was the job of the officers to strip search the inmates before they entered the prison cell. The night shift officers had to monitor the inmates and their behaviour while they were on duty.”

Naboro Maximum Security Prison

Naboro Maximum Security Prison

He recalled how inmates used to climb up the laundry room and walked across the roof of the workshop to cross over the concrete walls.

“The escapees then used to climb out of the window, run to the laundry room and climb up the roof. The roof of the laundry room was attached to the workshop roof which was attached to the concrete walls which the prison is surrounded by.

“The escapees easily climbed the roofs and jumped over the concrete walls.

“Then we had to engage our dog unit to monitor the area and pick up the tracks and our officers would be spread out in the jungle.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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