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Samoa police launch manhunt as more prisoners escape

Two more prisoners have escaped from Samoa's Tafaigata Prison early this morning.

Samoa Police Service media officer Superintendent Auapa'au Logoitino Filipo confirmed with KHJ News that the prison authorities had advised them of the escape.

Fili Faulalo and Tusi Samuelu are both serving time for burglary and aggravated robbery.

Police have now launched a search for the escapees and the public have been warned to be on the look out for them but not to approach them as they are considered dangerous.

Our correspondent said this comes as the search for an inmate who escaped the week before Christmas, Uili Manuleleua, was still on going.

The incident is just one in a spate of escapes which led to inmates losing weekend leave privileges.

Some people jailed for low-level offences had previously been allowed to go for home visits on Saturday, before returning on Monday afternoons.

But Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi last week called for the privileges to be revoked after the spate of escapes.

Tuilaepa also criticised prison management and guards, saying that staff needed to improve their fitness so they could chase after prisoners more successfully.

Now, prisoners will only be released for hospital appointments or to attend funerals, where they will accompanied by a police officer.