Tue. May 26th, 2020

Killer Safely Back In Jail After Largest Manhunt In Palau`s History

File Photo

Convicted Killer Amador Osima`s shocking jailbreak came to a dramatic end on Thursday evening just after sunset as dozens of police officers swooped in to arrest the dangerous fugitive near the Seventh Day Adventist church in central Koror. Osima`s arrest is the result of highly motivated and dedicated work on part of the Bureau of Public Safety, who launched what is believed to be the largest manhunt in the history of the republic in order to track down the dangerous escaped convict.

According to a statement released by Keiden Kintol, an assistant to the minister of Justice and Vice President, “at about 7:30 pm, escaped inmate Amador Osima was finally apprehended at the basement of SDA Church in Ngerbeched”. Kintol noted that Police headquarters had received a call regarding the escaped inmate being spotted near the location shortly prior to the arrest.

Video records seen by the Island Times show numerous law enforcement officers escorting a captured, shirtless Osima to a van parked near the Garden Palace hotel which is located to the rear-side of the Seventh Day Adventist premises. He was returned to the Koror jail, and is now safely back in a cell where he belongs.

A  shocked local resident told the Island Times that they believed they had spotted Osima not long before his arrest suspiciously moving around Main Street, looking at passers-by with unnaturally red eyes.

Other residents of the area recalled a commotion as numerous law enforcement officers driving cars and vans arrived in the area to capture Osima. Locals hastily locked their doors, and watched the arrest from their windows.

It is believed that very shortly before his arrest, Osima was consuming some fruits that were growing on the property of the Seventh Day Adventist church.

The arrest near the Seventh Day Adventist facility in Koror brings Osima’s lengthy criminal career to an ironic full circle;  The notorious inmate had after all first run into trouble in 2006 after breaking into and allegedly aiding and abetting the arson of a Seventh Day Adventist educational facility.

Osima’s arrest on Thursday evening came after Palau Police launched an unprecedented, huge manhunt.

Earlier on Thursday, over 60 determined officers from the Police’s Bureau of Public Safety, as well as from Koror State Rangers, the Division of Customs, the Police Academy Cadets Groups, the Narcotics Enforcement Agency, the Bureau of Maritime Security and Fish and Wildlife Protection and Bureau of Immigration and Customs had partnered together to launch a huge sweep-search of areas of Koror where Osima had been spotted.

While this unprecedented joint mass sweep, conducted early in the afternoon, did not result in the immediate capture of Osima, it may have played a key role in driving him out of more remote hiding places and into an area where he could be spotted and caught.

Hard-working Bureau of Public Safety Director Aloysius Alonz also contacted all of the witnesses in the criminal cases regarding Osima directly earlier this week to notify them of the escape. In an official letter to the witnesses, he offered them reassurance that the police are working very hard and doing all they can to apprehend Osima.

In 2013, Osima was found guilty of second degree murder in the first jury trial in Palau’s recent history. In June 2011, he had killed married Fillipino migrant worker  Virginia Ventura in a brutal machete attack that is believed to be one of the most brutal crimes in the history of the republic. A  judge had described Osima as a “danger to society”, and a man who had committed an “evil act”.

It is understood that the Ministry of Justice wishes to show its appreciation to the Koror State Rangers, Division of Customs for their collaboration and assistance in the manhunt for Osima.  “Both agencies and cadets of the Police Academy partnered with officers and staff from all the Bureaus of the Ministry of Justice made this operation successful”, Keiden Kintol noted in his official press statement about the capture of Osima.

Osima’s capture is also likely to come as a huge relief to many local police officers, who put all their efforts into searching for the escaped convict. One officer recounted to the Island Times how he had not slept properly in days while Osima was at large. Many officers are understood to have gone above and beyond the call of duty in looking for Osima. (Colin C. Cortbus)