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East Timor returns 2 foreign inmates who escaped Bali prison

1 of 3 Indonesian police officers escort Indian inmate Sayed Mohammed Said, center, upon his return at Bali international airport, Indonesia, Saturday, June 24, 2017. Authorities in East Timor arrested two foreign inmates,… (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati) More

DILI, East Timor (AP) — Authorities in East Timor on Saturday returned two foreign inmates who escaped from a prison in neighboring Indonesia’s resort island of Bali.

Bulgarian Dimitar Nikolov Iliev, 43, and Indian Sayed Mohammed Said, 31, were among four foreigners who escaped Monday from the Kerobokan penitentiary in Bali’s provincial capital, Denpasar, through a 50-by-70-centimeter (20-by-28-inch) hole found under the walls that connects to a 15-meter-long (49-foot-long) water tunnel heading toward a main street.

A district court in Dili, East Timor’s capital, allowed the immigration office to deport the two men, said East Timor police chief Julio da Costa Hornay.

Iliev, who is serving a seven-year sentence for money laundering and another offense, and Said, who is serving 14 years for drug offenses, told authorities in East Timor that they had reached Dili on Wednesday by boat from Indonesia’s Alor Island.

East Timor maritime police recaptured them at a hotel in Dili on Thursday.

Hornay said the two inmates were handed over to Indonesian authorities and flown to Bali on a special aircraft.

Indonesian police are still searching for the two other foreign inmates who escaped: Australian Shaun Edward Davidson, 33, who is serving a one-year sentence for an immigration violation, and Malaysian Tee Koko King bin Tee Kim Sai, 50, who is serving seven years for drug offenses.

Jailbreaks are common in Indonesia, where overcrowding has become a problem in prisons that are struggling to cope with poor funding and an influx of people arrested in a war on drugs. Most prisoners have been convicted on drug charges.