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Authorities Unable To Find Aussie Bali Escapee Stuck In Watery Tunnel

Shaun Davidson and three other men haven't been seen since their escape on Monday.

21/06/2017 9:17 AM AEST | Updated 21/06/2017 6:22 PM AEST

Fairfax Media
The watery 13 metre tunnel out of Bali prison Kerobokan, where Bali police fear the four escapees could still be lodged in the mud.

Four Bali prison escapees, including Australian Shaun Davidson, have not been found to be trapped inside a 13 metre-long, underground tunnel as heavy rain hampered attempts to investigate the men's escape route.

A fellow Kerobokan Prison inmate was sent down into the tunnel by police on Wednesday to investigate whether the escapees had become stuck underground and potentially drowned, although nothing was found.

The four men haven't been seen since they failed to turn up for roll call inside the Bali prison at 8am on Monday.

Earlier, police tried to investigate the tunnel using scuba gear on Tuesday, but the heavy rain made the tunnel unstable.

They found a small fork inside the pre-existing tunnel, which led from a hole presumed to be a septic tank inside the jail to outside the prison walls and was just 50cm by 75cm in diameter, about 13 metres long and filled with water.

"The tunnel is quite long, it's very possible that they got stuck with that small diameter of just 40cm. Let's drain it first (of water) and we'll see. If it's still filled, we can't (see it)," Badung District Police Chief Yudith Satriya Hananta told reporters in Bali at the time.

"That's why we are drying it out to check. It's still full with water, we will see when it's dry."

Two buckets, cups and sandals were found nearby, and a head flashlight and clothes were found inside the tunnel, including a black shirt recognised as belonging to the Malaysian escapee, Tee Kok King, according to a prison official.

Police chief Yudith said it was also possible the four men -- Australian Shaun Davidson, Indian Sayed Mohammed Said, Bulgarian Dimitar Nikolov Iliev and Malaysian Tee Kok King -- had succeeded in making it out of Denpasar.

Fairfax Media
West Australian Shaun Davidson, 33, hasn't been seen since he and four other prisoners escaped from Kerobokan Prison on Monday morning.

Wanted posters of the four men have been erected throughout Bali, Fairfax Media reports, and airports and ports out of the Indonesian tourist hot spot are on high alert.

Bali police believe the men had planned the jailbreak for some time. Security cameras in the area of the escape were cut in the lead up to the jailbreak.

Just 10 jailers guard the more than 1,300 inmates at any one time in the horrendously overcrowded facility.

West Australian Shaun Davidson had just ten weeks left of his 12 month sentence when he made his escape, but faced deportation to Australia to face drug charges on his release.

There has been speculation that the 33-year-old may have been trying to extend his prison sentence.

"Davidson had made no secret of his intention to avoid being sent back to Australia," a Kerobokan source told Fairfax Media.

"He actually likes prison. I can well imagine he escaped with the aim of being caught and extending his sentence in Kerobokan, which is far more comfortable and drugs more easily available than in an Aussie prison."

But Bali corrections chief Surung Pasaribu said that under Indonesian law, the men would face disciplinary measures if captured, but would not get extra jail time.

The West Australian had been due to face court in Perth on January 28, 2015 for possession of methamphetamine and cannabis and two other offences, but skipped the country. Australian authorities have had a warrant out for his arrest since then.

He spent a year living it up in Indonesia, before being arrested for using another man's passport, which he claims he found in his hotel room. The passport had been reported missing by its owner in 2013.

At the time of his sentencing in 2016, Davidson told Fairfax Media prison life was "alright" so long as you had outside support and he had been running boxing classes for fellow prisoners.

"It (Kerobokan) is a bit different to expectations I guess," he told Fairfax.

"It's pretty hard for some of the locals in there but. If you don't have money, you don't eat -- they don't give you food, they don't give you a bed."

The three other escapees -- Indian Sayed Mohammed Said, Bulgarian Dimitar Nikolov Iliev and Malaysian Tee Kok King -- were serving longer sentences of 14 years, seven years and seven and a half years respectively.

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