Immigration officials were left red-faced and thrown into panic after 22 refugees from Afghanistan managed to escape a new detention facility at Jimbaran.
The illegal immigrants fled their holding cells on October 18 by breaking through a glass window and leaping over a low fence that was not secured with barbed wire, the centre’s chief, Amair Fatah, told reporters.
He said there were only four officers on duty at the time and that they were unable to apprehend the Afghans, who had been shouting, banging implements and creating a disturbance before they broke out.
A hunt is on for the 22, who had been arrested in Kuta. The new immigration centre had been housing 62 people, from Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, said Fatah.
It is the second escape from the facility in two months. In the earlier incident a number of detainees got out and ran away.
Bali is often used as a transit point for illegal immigrants from war-ravaged nations seeking to travel to Australia. So severe has the problem become in recent years that the Australian government is in talks with East Timor to construct a detention centre in the former Portuguese and later Indonesian territory.