At least 75 inmates, many of them members of a ill-famed Brazilian gang, fled from a Paraguayan prison in a frontier town on Sunday, according to officials who announced they promptly dismissed the prison’s director,reported Associated Press.
Officials said they found a tunnel and found cells filled with as many as 200 bags of earth.
“It’s not possible that nobody saw anything in all this time,” Justice Minister Cecilia Pérez told the Telefuturo station. “This isn’t the work of one day or one night.”
Interior Minister Euclides Acevedo announced in a declaration that the tunnel itself may have been a ploy to conceal conspiracy by prison officials and that many of the prisoners may have been permitted to walk out of the prison’s main gate.
Acevedo said the majority of the escapees belong to the First Capital Command based in Brazil, which borders the city of Pedro Juan Caballero, where the prison is located. The gang was founded in the 1990s inside a Sao Paulo prison and it has extended its influence throughout the country, becoming one of Brazil’s largest criminal organizations.
In Brazil, Justice Minister Sergio Moro said authorities were trying to prevent the escapees from reentering the country. “If they enter Brazil again, they will only get a one-way ticket to federal prison,” he tweeted.
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