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KZN police hunt 13 awaiting-trial prison escapees

Police spokesperson Jay Naicker said 15 prisoners initially escaped, but two were re-arrested by police on Monday night.

Picture: Winnie Theletsane/EWN

DURBAN - KwaZulu-Natal police are still searching for 13 awaiting-trial prisoners who escaped on Monday afternoon while in transit from the Durban Magistrates Court to Westville Prison.

Police spokesperson Jay Naicker said 15 prisoners initially escaped, but two were re-arrested by police on Monday night. Naicker said 11 of the escapees were foreign nationals who were arrested for being in the country illegally.

He said a SAPS vehicle driver was transporting 54 prisoners and stopped at a traffic light when he noticed something odd.

“The driver alleges that he stopped at the corner and noticed that the suspects were escaping at the back of the vehicle, and the door was padlocked when they left the court,” he said.

Naicker said the four South Africans who escaped faced serious charges.

“One of them was a robbery suspect, the other a housebreaking suspects, and two were arrested for drug-related offences.”

He said police were also looking at whether this was an inside job.

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