Christian Beasley, 32, escaped around 4.10am local time by cutting a hole through steel bars in the ceiling and then jumping over a 20-foot-high wall behind Kerobokan prison
Indonesian police are hunting for an American man who escaped Monday from an overcrowded prison in Bali by cutting through steel bars in the ceiling.
Christian Beasley, who was being held on suspicion of selling narcotics but hadn’t been sentenced, escaped around 4.10am local time by cutting a hole through steel bars in the ceiling and then jumping over a 20-foot-high wall behind the prison.
Beasley was arrested in August at a post office in the Kuta tourist area of Bali with a package containing 5.7 grams of hashish.
This is the second breakout of foreign inmates at the Kerobokan prison this year. The overcrowded jail is about six miles from the main tourist beaches in the Kuta area, and often holds foreigners facing drug-related charges.
‘It is thought that the prisoner escaped … by cutting through the steel bars above the ceiling,’ Badung Police chief Yudith Satria Hananta said in a statement, without giving details of how Beasley escaped without being detected.
Beasley, 32, from California, is believed to have then used a rope to climb down a wall before getting over a perimeter wall in an area being refurbished.
This is the second breakout of foreign inmates at the Kerobokan prison this year. The overcrowded jail is about six miles from the main tourist beaches in the Kuta area, and often holds foreigners facing drug-related charges (stock image)
Police have questioned witnesses and guards and are hunting for Beasley, Hananta said.
Another American, Paul Anthony Hoffman, 57, was captured while also trying to escape,the chief said.
Representatives of Beasley and Hoffman could not immediately be reached for comment.
An investigation was underway to determine if prison guards were involved in the escape, said Surung Pasaribu of the local office of the Law and Human Rights Ministry.
He also said there is a shortage of guards for the prison, which was built to accommodate about 300 people but has nearly 1,600 inmates.
It was the second escape from the prison in Bali’s capital, Denpasar, since June, when inmates from Australia, Bulgaria, India and Malaysia tunneled to freedom about 12 meters under the prison’s walls.
The Indian and the Bulgarian were caught soon after in neighboring East Timor, but Australian Shaun Edward Davidson and Malaysian Tee Kok King remain at large.
Davidson has taunted authorities by saying he was enjoying life in various parts of the world, in purported posts on Facebook.
Kerobokan has housed a number of well-known foreign drug convicts, including Australian Schappelle Corby, whose 12-and-a-half year sentence for marijuana smuggling got huge media attention.
Indonesia has executed several foreign drug convicts in recent years.
The country’s prisons are often overcrowded – in part caused by the war on drugs led by the government of President Joko Widodo, which has led to a surge in the number of people locked up.
As of June, Kerobokan housed 1,378 inmates, more than four times its planned capacity of 323, government data show.
Prison escapes are fairly common in Indonesia, which launched an investigation this year after about 350 inmates broke out of a prison on the island of Sumatra.