Almost eight hours after prisoner Siew “Ramdass” Persad escaped from the Maximum Security Prison (MSP), Golden Grove, yesterday morning – he was recaptured after being detained by a private bus driver in Lopinot as he headed for home.
The 41-year-old Blanchisseuse resident had been serving a one-year prison sentence which began in December 2020 after he pleaded guilty to stealing some chickens from a farmer.
Persad, who was due to be released in June, was part of an estate gang working in the prison’s vegetable gardens situated opposite to the facility along Golden Grove Road, Piarco, when he made a dash for freedom.
Officers overseeing the gang of workers reported seeing Persad running in an easterly direction around 9 am and gave chase but were unable to apprehend him.
The estate gang is usually taken to the gardens around 7 am daily.
An alarm was immediately raised following which a large contingent of prison officers from the Emergency Response Unit, joined by officers from the Arouca Police Station, launched a manhunt in Five Rivers.
Although aerial and house-to-house searches were carried out in several areas including Laurel Hill off Range Road and also at Williams Trace, Aripo – Persad was not found.
Residents squatting along the mountainous terrain reported Persad’s presence as they said he “passed through” on his escape route, and even though extensive searches were conducted, the officers called off the search in the Five Rivers area around 1.30 pm.
Police were contacted after the driver “arrested” Persad, who had been acting in a suspicious manner.
It is believed he had been headed home to Temple Village which is situated along the Blanchisseuse Old Road.
Persad’s escape came one day after the Prison Officers Association (POA) complained that there was no functional alarm system at the prison.
On Thursday, POA President Ceron Richards said the MSP has been without an alarm system for years.
National Security Minister Stuart Young later said security cameras and alarms had been approved for installation at the prison.