Fresh blow for G4S as riot in Australian asylum-seeker detention kills one, leaves 77 injured


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The Independent Online

British security behemoth G4S’s reputation faced another battering today when a riot broke out in the Australian asylum-seeker detention centre it runs, leaving one man dead and 77 others injured.

The unrest at the detention centre on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island included a gunshot victim, who was wounded in the bottom, and another person who suffered a critical head injury, according to local reports. On Sunday, 35 detainees escaped from the island but were recaptured.

“Our sympathies are extended to that person’s family and friends who would have been in the facility as well,” Australia’s immigration minister Scott Morrison said.

The centre is run by the Salvation Army, which outsources security to G4S, in a deal worth about £50 million. But the British firm will not continue to operate there as the Salvation Army is being replaced by another operator.

G4S has been embroiled in a series of scandals, admitting in November it had overcharged the UK taxpayer by £24.1 million for tagging criminals who were dead although the FTSE 100 firm was already struggling to fix its reputation after its poor performance in the London 2012 Olympics.

It is also being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office over two contracts.