A 42-year-old Brazillian gang leader was caught attempting to escape from prison by dressing up as his teenage daughter.
When Mexico’s “Shorty” – the drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán – made his cinematic 2015 jail-break it required a mile-long tunnel, a multimillion-dollar bribe and even a private plane that whisked him to freedom in the mountains of Sinaloa.
El Chapo’s Brazilian namesake hoped to achieve the same using just a silicone mask, a black bra and wig, and a skin-tight T-shirt emblazoned with three pink doughnuts.
On Saturday, the Rio de Janeiro-based drug trafficker Clauvino da Silva attempted to sneak out of the city’s most notorious prison wearing that disguise and in the hope of convincing guards, he was in fact his 19-year-old daughter heading home after visiting hours.
But when Silva – AKA Baixinho (“Shorty”) – requested the return of his daughter’s ID card at the prison entrance, officers saw through his low-budget disguise and asked him to strip in front of the cameras. That video has since gone viral in Brazil and around the world.
Silva, who is serving a 73-year sentence for his involvement in the Red Command drug faction, appears to have fancied himself as Brazil’s answer to Ethan Hunt, the Mission Impossible hero who uses an ultra-realistic latex mask to dupe his foes.
But Saturday’s farcical getaway was not Silva’s first. In January 2013 he was one of 31 prisoners who tried to tunnel out of the same prison complex through the sewers. Four dirt-covered inmates were immediately recaptured but Silva made it out alongside other gang members nicknamed Fish, Spiderman and Sledge Hammer.
The following month the Brazillian gang leader was reportedly rearrested while attempting to seize control of a shantytown in Rio’s western districts with a group of heavily armed men.
Reports on Monday said the 42-year-old drug trafficker had been moved to solitary confinement but was unlikely to face extra prison time since his unsuccessful bid for freedom had not involved violence.
His teenage daughter, Ana Gabriele Leandro da Silva, who had remained behind in the prison as part of the ruse, seemed to have been less lucky.
According to Rio newspaper Extra, she will be charged with abetting prison escape, a crime punishable with up to two years in prison. Seven other visitors – including a pregnant woman suspected of smuggling the disguise into the jail – are also being investigated.
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