A Senegalese convict who has made a name for himself for his jailbreaking prowess was apprehended by authorities on Thursday after his recent prison escape. Nicknamed Boy Djinné (Spirit Boy), Baye Modou Fall claims he has successfully escaped prison on 12 separate occasions.
According to BBC, the 32-year-old was re-arrested around the Mali border while he was trying to escape on a motorbike. In an interview with a Senegalese television station after his May escape, Fall said he was able to successfully get out of the prison after destroying a ventilation grill and scaling over a wall with a rope. Fall was serving time for robbery and also had other pending cases prior to his recent jailbreak. But the convict told the television station those cases are yet to go to trial and he had been waiting for nine years, adding that that was the reason behind his recent jailbreak.
“The offense of escaping is another sentence, I know that. But since I have spent nine years in detention for nothing, this escape is a sacrifice for me. I am fighting for the truth to come out. I decided to take matters into my own hands,” Fall, who claimed he escaped without any help, said. “I always knew that I could get out of prison at any time, day or night.”
He added: “There is no security where I am detained at the Penal Camp, even though people argue the opposite.”
Fall has had run-ins with the law since childhood, with most of his convictions being robbery-related, BBC reported. His first jailbreak was from a juvenile prison in the town of Diourbel. He also served time in The Gambia in 2016 after escaping from Senegalese authorities following an arrest the year before. He was, however, re-arrested in Senegal five months later.
Despite Fall’s popularity, his former lawyer told the news outlet he is actually not what people perceive him to be. “The press has made him into a superman. He has no mystical power,” Abdoulaye Babou said. “He does not have the physique of a kingpin. He is very thin, short and extremely shy. He will never look you in the eye. He is not a thug. He has never killed anyone.”
Babou also said Fall isn’t being treated fairly with regards to the trial delays. “He is in prison and he has no idea about the outcome of these cases despite the letters he sent to the authorities and which remained unanswered. He is not given a chance to be tried. It is not fair,” he said.
Meanwhile, Fall’s case and trial delay is nothing new in the West African country, BBC reported. And activists have long pointed out how lengthy pre-trial detention has contributed to overcrowding in Senegal’s prison system.
In 2018, Face2Face Africa reported that the Senegalese government was going to introduce the use of electronic tag bracelets for people facing trial as a way to deal with overcrowding in its prisons. Authorities had said it was going to take effect in 2019 but it is yet to be implemented.