Tuesday 5/18/21

Police arrested prisoner released after being mistaken for another

The prison director said it was an human error caused by the great similarity between the two inmates.
The Kylmäkoski prison, in the Pirkanmaa region. Image: Google Maps.

Sometimes you can win the lottery without playing. That is surely what an inmate from the Finnish prison of Kylmäkoski thought.

The man, born in 1997, was released on Monday, July 13 at around 7:30 AM by prison staff, after being mistaken for another inmate who was due to leave the penitentiary. When the prison staff realized what they had done, it was too late. The inmate had fled.

However, his flight lasted a short time. On Tuesday at 16:04, the police issued a statement to announce that he had been arrested at 14:35. 

The arrest took place peacefully and was the result of measures taken by the police. The investigation will continue on Wednesday with interrogations, the press release says.

Similarity with another inmate

Kylmäkoski prison is located in the town of Akaa, in the Pirkanmaa region, some 42 km south of the city of Tampere.

Speaking to the Finnish media, the prison director, Harri Ramö, said it was a human error that he attributed, among other things, to the great similarity between the two inmates.

However, prison staff also said both prisoners could be involved in a plot. Police have been investigating whether there may be any truth to this hypothesis, while searching for the fugitive prisoner.

Like any controversial case in Finland, the prisoner's flight is surrounded by a halo of opacity on the part of the authorities.

No details have been provided about the escaped inmate, nor about the crime for which he was deprived of liberty. Authorities have only said that he was not involved in organized crime activities and focused on highlighting how exceptional it is for an inmate to flee.

Dangerous? You never know...

"The prison was completed in 1993. Never before has anyone escaped . This is very rare in prisons in general. I can't think of anything like that," Ramö told newspaper Iltalehti.

“Based on the information we have, he is not dangerous, but one can never be sure," Ramö says.

The flight was immediately reported to the police.

The second prisoner, the one who really had to be released, was also able to leave prison the same day.