Prisoners return on their own accord

By Deidre Tautua – Fanene ,

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Tafaigata Prison.

Tafaigata Prison. (Photo: File)

The two prisoners, who escaped from jail on January 26, have returned to Tafaigata Prison on their own free will. 

They are Fili Faulalo, 34, from Leulumoega Tuai, and Tui Samuelu, 24, from Falelauniu, Manono and Vailoa Faleata.

This was confirmed by the Assistant Commissioner of Prison and Correction Services,UlugiaNiuiaAumua, during a media conference yesterday morning.

The men are currently serving jail time for burglary, theft and robbery.

“It was a surprise this morning at 4:30, two gate officers advised us that one of them turned up at the gate and the other one came through the fence at the back and came in,” said Ulugia.

“They told us that they were scared about their safety out in public and also coming in here (prison)."

“And I think it was to do with the timing they came in because everyone was in bed because they know very well they will face the wrath of prisoners here.”

Ulugia said having them back at prison is the best news for everyone. 

"Ever since they escaped, the Prison Ministry and the Police have been working together in trying to recapture these prisoners, so we had done all that we could to ensure they are captured."

“We had notified the Police that our standard process is to notify the families and let them know about the escape and also liaise with the village mayors so that they are aware."

“Quite often, almost all the time, they are very helpful by offering their support."

“Since Saturday, we had a lot of information from the public and we are thankful to them for all the information because that informationhas helped us a lot."

“So I believe that is why they have decided to come back because of the awareness that we had done publicly ever since their escape.”

Ulugia added the two were now in the cell as their punishment for escaping.

“So these two together, with the other 11 high profile inmates, are now in the high-risk cell they will not be able to come out of, unless the Commissioner of Prison signs for them to be released."

“So at the moment Fili and Tui are in there and we are also waiting on the Police to come and do their investigation and also to finalise their charges.”

Ulugia commends the support of the Ministry of Police and the public.

“I know it’s because of your help that these two returned to prison,” he said.

“I want to acknowledge the help of the Ministry of Police in working together with to recapture these two.”

Meanwhile, Uili Manuleleua, who escaped with other four prisoners just before Christmas last year, remains at large. 

Ulugia says the other three have been recaptured and they are still working together with the Ministry of Police to recapture Uili. 

“I can’t really discuss with you the current situation of this matter because we are working together with the Ministry of Police in capturing the remaining prisoner Uili,” he said.

He explained: “But we are doing everything we can to ensure that he is recaptured."

“He is dangerous. Do not approach him, but contact the Ministry of Police on phone number 22222.”

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