Break-out ‘contractors’ foiled in Brazil

14 December 2011

Brazillian police foiled a would-be tunnelled prison breakout, local newspaper Cidade Verde reported. Prisoners in the high security Casa de Custodia prison in Teresinha in the country’s north purchased a nearby house and contracted builders to dig the escape tunnel.

The excavation was 30m-long and four metres in diameter. It was fitted with electric lighting, ventilation and drainage. A military police chief said, “I was very impressed by their workmanship.”

Axes, hoes and shovels were used for excavation. Muck was transported via a sand bag system.

Four tunnellers and a female lookout were arrested by the police who are seeking evidence to link them to the bank robbers already in the jail. The tunnel, after one month of work, was only a few metres short of breakthrough to the prison’s ‘C Wing’.

Construction noise mitigation was undertaken by loud gospel music played 24 hours a day. The house cost the project approximately USD 20,000.

Colonel Rubens Pereira of the military police added, “It was like something out of a film, we couldn't believe our eyes. The men had been working there for less than a month, but they had managed to build a structure that any construction company would be proud of.

“They had chosen the house they wanted to dig from and approached the owner, paying the amount he wanted for it. With light and ventilation in the tunnel, they were able to keep digging day and night. If we hadn't come across the tunnel they would certainly have released the prisoners within days.”

The prisoners were bank robbers serving a 14-year sentence.