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Gang leader disguises himself in silicone mask of daughter's face in jailbreak bid

Clauvino da Silva’s audacious escape attempt foiled after guards spot him ‘acting nervously’ while walking out of prison

Tim Wyatt
Monday 05 August 2019 17:43 BST
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Brazilian gang leader removes mask after trying to escape from prison by dressing up as his daughter

A Brazilian gang leader was caught trying to escape prison while wearing a mask of his teenage daughter’s face.

Clauvino da Silva was spotted by guards as he attempted to walk out of the jail pretending to be his daughter at the end of visiting hours on Saturday.

The drug lord, a feared leader of Rio de Janeiro’s Red Command gang, is serving a 73-year sentence at Gericino prison to the west of the city.

The plan involved da Silva’s 19-year-old daughter visiting the jail and then staying behind while her gangster father attempted to leave with a group of other visiting women.

As well as squeezing himself into the teenager’s skinny jeans and pink t-shirt, the 42-year-old also put on a wig and wore a silicone mask which covered his entire head during the audacious escape attempt.

But officials at the jail said they spotted him before he was able to leave the facility, saying he was visibly nervous.

A spokesperson for Rio’s state secretary of prison administration said: “Clauvino was wearing a pink t-shirt with a black bra underneath, had long black hair, tight jeans, white sandals, a coat and glasses but even though he had the face of a girl, he didn’t move like a woman.

“Officers were suspicious of his appearance, particularly as he was in the middle of seven other women visitors who were leaving the prison and who appeared to be deliberately surrounding him to shield him from being seen clearly by us.”

In a video released by the authorities, da Silva can be seen wearing his full disguise before being made to undress one item at a time by prison guards.

Once he finally peels off his mask, the heavily-tattooed drug lord can be seen clearly.

The spokesperson said the Gericino high-security prison had been on lockdown for weeks, with contraband mobile phones and jewellery seized and perks withdrawn.

This, they said, may have prompted the Red Command to launch such an audacious and “unusual” form of escape.

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Da Silva – who previously escaped from jail through the sewers in 2013 – has now been moved to another facility.

The seven women who tried to leave with the drug trafficker have also been taken to a police station for questioning under suspicion of aiding the gangster’s escape attempt.

It appears Da Silva’s plan, if it had worked, had been to leave his daughter behind in prison.

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