American man recaptured after 5-day Indonesia manhunt

BALI, Indonesia — Authorities have recaptured an American man who escaped from an overcrowded and understaffed prison on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, police said Sunday.

Christian Beasley, 32, is believed to have escaped during heavy rain last Monday from the Kerobokan penitentiary in Bali's provincial capital, Denpasar, by sawing through a ceiling and then climbing over a 6-meter (20-foot) -high wall behind the prison.

The head of the prison, Tonny Nainggolan, said earlier that another American inmate, Paul Anthony Hoffman, 57, who has been serving a 20-month sentence since July for robbery, was captured while trying to escape along with Beasley.

Beasley was arrested in August at a post office in Bali's Kuta tourist area while allegedly trying to pick up a package containing 5.7 grams of hashish. He stood trial and the verdict was due last Tuesday, a day after his escape.

Bali police detective Made Pramestia said Beasley had reached the neighboring tourist island of Lombok by boat on the day of his escape.

Pramestia said Beasley was recaptured on Saturday in an alley near a beach on Lombok after a five-day manhunt.

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 at the prison, which was built to accommodate about 300 people but has nearly 1,600 inmates.

It was the second escape from the prison since June, when four foreign inmates escaped through a drainage tunnel.

Two of them, Bulgarian Dimitar Nikolov Iliev and Indian Sayed Mohammed Said, were recaptured in East Timor days later and were returned to Bali. The two others, Shaun Edward Davidson of Australia and Tee Koko King bin Tee Kim Sai of Malaysia, are still at large.

Jailbreaks are common in Indonesia, where prisons are overcrowded with people convicted of drug crimes as part of the government's anti-drug crusade.

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