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At least 75 ‘highly dangerous’ inmates escape Paraguay prison via tunnel

At least 75 “highly dangerous” inmates — many of them members of a notorious Brazilian gang — escaped from a Paraguayan prison on Sunday through a tunnel they dug, authorities said.

The prisoners dug an underground passage “like we see in the movies, complete with internal lighting,” police spokeswoman Elena Andrada said, according to AFP.

Officials found cells filled with as many as 200 bags of earth.

Prison brass are believed to have been aware of the jailbreak plot, which took “several weeks,” Justice Minister Cecilia Perez told reporters.

“It is evident that the staff knew nothing and did nothing,” Perez said.

The director of the penitentiary in the border city of Pedro Juan Caballero and six other prison officials were fired, Perez said.

Interior Minister Euclides Acevedo said in a statement that the tunnel itself could have been a decoy to cover up the complicity of officials — and that it’s possible the inmates were simply allowed to walk out of the prison’s main gate.

The escapees include members of First Capital Command, Brazil’s most powerful drugs and arms-trafficking gang.

“These are highly dangerous people,” Paraguayan Attorney General Sandra Quinonez told Monumental.

The burning hulks of five vans believed to have been used in the escape were found in Ponta Pora, a Brazilian city separated from Pedro Juan Caballero by an avenue, Andrada said.

“Our best men have gone to the border to attempt to recapture the prisoners,” she said.

Brazilian Justice Minister Sergio Moro said he was ready to help Paraguay capture the jailbirds and was working to stop them from re-entering Brazil.

Pedro Juan Caballero, near the Brazilian border, is considered a hub for trafficking and other gang activity.

With Post wires

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