Prisoner on the run fled North Korea and escaped notorious Chinese jail

Chinese authorities have put a £17,000 bounty on the head of a North Korean prisoner who escaped from a Chinese jail earlier this week.

The inmate, identified as Zhu Xianjian, entered China illegally in 2013 and was sentenced to 11 years in prison for illegal border crossing, larceny and robbery in 2016.

He managed to successfully escape from prison in the city of Jilin at around 6pm local time on Monday, CNN reports.

A notice offers £11,300 for information that helps lead police to his capture, rising to £17,000 for clues that lead directly to his arrest.

That number equates to almost five times that of the average annual income of Jilin urban residents and more than nine times that of those in rural areas.

Video footage shows the escape artist climbing onto a shed next to a gate as inmates were finishing work in the yard, running across its roof and using what appears to be a rope to damage the electric fence surrounding the prison wall, setting off a series of sparks.

He then steps onto the fencing to climb over another metal fence and disappears behind the high walls, as prisoners and guards look on.

Another surveillance video shows Zhu rolling over on the ground after jumping from the high fence, lying still for a while before getting up and running away.

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Police have blocked off entrances to nearby villages and conducted a house-to-house search for Zhu, according to the state-run Global Times.

While in prison, Zhu's sentence was reduced twice – once in 2017 and then in 2020 – for a show of remorse, good discipline and actively participating in "ideological, cultural and vocational education" and labouring work, and he was due to be released in 2023, according to state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV).

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