A Brazilian gang leader who tried to escape from jail by dressing up as his daughter has been found dead in his cell after apparently hanging himself.

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Convicted drug dealer Clauvino da Silva, 42, was caught last Saturday wearing a silicon girl’s mask, a long black wig, glasses and women’s clothes including a bra.

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Video footage released by prison authorities showed da Silva, also known as “Shorty”, removing the surreal disguise.



The Brazilian prisoner was wearing a silicon mask as part of his elaborate disguise

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How Brazilian prisoner was unmasked

Officials said the inmate, who was serving a decades-long sentence, had dressed as his 19-year-old daughter as she visited him in jail west of Rio and then tried to walk out in her place.

Da Silva was apparently going to leave her inside – but he was found out after appearing nervous as he carried out the bold escape attempt from Gericino prison.

He was sent to a maximum-security prison, and now in a gruesome development his body has been discovered in his cell in Bangu jail.

Rio’s prison authority said “the inmate appears to have hanged himself with a bed sheet” and an investigation had been opened.

Da Silva’s death on Tuesday is an embarrassment for authorities, after their initial glee in preventing his unusual escape.

He was part of the leadership of the Red Command, one of the most powerful criminal groups in Brazil that controlled drug trafficking in a large part of Rio, officials said.

Last week, at least 57 people died after a prison riot in the northern state of Para.

In May, more than 50 inmates died in similar circumstances during jail riots in the northern state of Amazonas.

Brazil’s prison population is the world’s third highest, swelling to around 750,000 inmates, an eight-fold increase in three decades.

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