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Police arrest fugitive released after prison mix-up

The first escape in Kylmäkoski prison’s history occurred on Monday when officials accidentally released the wrong inmate.

Kylmäkosken vankilan raja-aita.
File photo of Kylmäkoski Prison in Pirkanmaa. Image: Miikka Varila / Yle

The Central Finland Police Department have apprehended a prisoner who escaped from Kylmäkoski Prison near the city of Tampere on Monday, after prison officials mistakenly released the wrong person.

The incident marked the first time an inmate has escaped from the Kylmäkoski facility, which was built in 1993.

Prison warden Harri Rämö told Yle that the error occurred when the now-fugitive presented himself to prison officials and pretended to be another prisoner who was due to be released.

"It is very sad and unfortunate that this occurred. The similarity [between the two inmates] is remarkable, but nevertheless this should not have happened," Rämö said.

Rämö added that he suspects the escape was planned, as a similar attempt had been made to use a false identity inside the prison.

The escaped prisoner had been on the run, although he was not considered to be dangerous. Police were unwilling to reveal the crime the escaped prisoner had committed, the length of the sentence, or how long had been served.

"Very rare case"

Every year, about 400–500 prisoners are released from Kylmäkoski Prison, either for pre-trial detention or after the end of a sentence.

"This is a very rare case," Rämö said, adding that the prison immediately changed its practices on Monday.

Under Finnish law, the escape of a prisoner is a crime that can result in fines or imprisonment for up to one year.

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