News World Australian, three other men tunnel out of Bali jail

Australian, three other men tunnel out of Bali jail

Bali prison escape tunnel
The four men escaped by digging a tunnel from the prison clinic to an outside wall. Photo: Ambros Boli
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Indonesian officials have confirmed an Australian man is among four people who have escaped from prison in Bali by crawling through a narrow tunnel dug under the walls.

Officials said prison guards became aware of the escape while conducting a morning check of inmates at the Kerobokan jail in Bali’s capital, Denpasar.

The four men are believed to have escaped through a 50-by-70-centimetre hole found in a wall that connects to a 15-metre-long water tunnel heading toward a main street.

Escaped prisoners
Shaun Davidson is among four prisoners who have escaped from Kerobokan Jail in Bali. Photo: ABC

“The tunnel is about 12 metres long and we suspect it took more than a week to build,” said the head of Kerobokan prison Tony Nainggolan, adding that police believed the men were still in Bali and not far from the prison.

Police identified the four as Australian Shaun Edward Davidson, 33, Bulgarian Dimitar Nikolov Iliev, 43, Indian Sayed Mohammed Said, 31, and Malaysian Tee Koko King bin Tee Kim Sai, 50.

Davidson, from Perth, had less than three months left of his sentence to serve.

He had been convicted of immigration violations and given a one-year sentence.

Iliev was serving a seven-year sentence for money laundering and another offence, while Said and King were serving 14 and seven years, respectively, for drug offences.

Jailbreaks are common in Indonesia, where overcrowding has become a problem in prisons that are struggling to cope with poor funding and an influx of people arrested on drugs charges.

A war on drugs being led by the government of President Joko Widodo has triggered a spike in the number of convicted drug offenders, stretching an already overwhelmed jail system.

The capacity of Kerobakan is 323 inmates, but it currently houses more than four times that number at 1,378, according to government data.

A search is currently being carried out for them.