An Indonesian man convicted of terror offences has escaped from a high-security jail by wearing a burqa. Roki Aprisdianto, who was serving his six-year sentence for attempting to bomb Christian churches and police posts in Solo, central Java, put on the full-length Muslim garment and walked out of the prison with a group of burqa-clad female visitors, police said on Thursday.
Indonesian terror prisoner escaped in burqa
The 29-year-old prisoner is believed to have made his escape after a visiting woman wearing two burqas passed him one, police spokesman Rikwanto, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, told AFP. At the time of the escape on Wednesday, the prison, which holds about 70 terror convicts, was being guarded by four members of the elite anti-terror squad and seven other police officers.
To stop further cases of criminals cross-dressing to escape, Jakarta police are assigning female officers to prisons and detention centres to check female visitors. ‘In the future, besides deploying more police personnel, we will also ask visitors to lift up the veil covering their face as they leave the facility,’ Rikwanto said.
“From now on, all burqa-clad visitors who enter and leave the prison will be checked thoroughly,” Rikwanto added. “We don’t want to neglect this again.”
Indonesian police divisions are blaming each other for the escape
And the blame game has already started, the Jakarta Police say they are not at fault for the lax security at their detention center that allowed the terrorist to escape while dressed as a woman in a burqa. Instead, they are blaming officers from the National Polices elite Densus 88 counterterrorism squad assigned to guard cells on the fourth-floor detention facility where the missing inmate had been detained.
Rikwanto said it was possible that the Densus 88 unit on scene did not lock the door separating the cells and the visitors room, paving the way for Roki to escape. It was under Densus 88s surveillance, not the Jakarta Police, he said. The National Police responded that both the Jakarta Police and the Densus 88 shared responsibilities in the escape. The prisoner is still at large.
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