THE FIJI Police Force has put all its operations on high alert to ensure the arrest of the five escapees who are serving time for burglary and violent robbery convictions.
"That is our aim, their arrest and there are some leads in our investigation," said acting chief of operations Senior Superintendent Rusiate Tudravu.
"We can't do this alone, we need assistance from members of the public."
He said the roadblocks erected along roads in the Central Division was to ensure the robbers did not get out of Suva.
SSP Tudravu said their investigations had so far shown that the robbers were still in the district, and identified areas such as Raiwai, Raiwaqa and Samabula. He said the operation would also be extended to the Eastern and Western divisions.
"We will uplift and end the operation once the five are arrested."
SSP Tudravu said a reward of $2000 was on offer for those who would come forward with information that could lead to the arrest of the five, with assurance of their identity kept confidential.
"With the manpower and capabilities we have, we can manage this but our only need is public assistance," he said.
"Our dogs could not trace any further which means that they were assisted."
SSP Tudravu said a team of investigators were now on the case, and 90 officers deployed on the ground for this particular operation.
He assured members of the public that the situation was under control and they should not be alarmed.
The five escapees are:
* Isoa Waqa, 30, of Waitovu in Ovalau who is serving an eight-year term for robbery with violence;
* Solomoni Qurai, 28, of Tavuki, Kadavu who is serving a life sentence for burglary and murder;
* Tevita Sugu, 29, of Tavuki, Kadavu - serving 13 years for aggravated robbery;
* Josaia Usumaki, 25, of Nakasaleka, Kadavu - serving 26 years for robbery with violence and related offences; and
* Epeli Qaraniqio, 30, of Lamiti in Gau - serving eight years for robbery with violence and related offences.