World News

Chinese drug dealer on death row in Indonesia escapes via sewers

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A Chinese drug trafficker under death sentence escaped from jail on the outskirts of Indonesia’s capital Jakarta by tunnelling through the sewage system, police said on Monday.

Cai Changpan, 37, who was convicted of methamphetamine smuggling, dug a hole from his cell at the prison in the Tangerang area into waste pipes and on to a road outside, Jakarta police spokesman Yusri Yunus told reporters.

According to a cell mate, he had planned the Sept. 14 escape for five to six months using tools from a construction project in the prison kitchen, Yunus said.

Indonesia Directorate General of Prisons spokeswoman Rika Aprianti told media the trafficker, who also uses the name Cai Ji Fan, had timed his escape to the changing of the guards.

According to Indonesian news website , he was sentenced to death in 2017 for trafficking 135 kg of crystal meth. A police investigation found 70 kg of meth hidden in chicken coop cleaner equipment.

Cai, police said, had previously broken out of a Jakarta police detention centre in 2017 by breaking a hole in a bathroom wall. No lawyer or representative for Cai was immediately reachable for comment.

Police put him on their most wanted list.

Reporting by Fanny Potkin; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne