China Offers Big Reward for Helping Find Escaped Prisoner Who Previously Fled North Korea

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North Korean Zhu Xianjian entered China illegally in 2013. Three years later, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison for illegally crossing the border and for theft. Since then, he has been in prison in the northeastern city of Jilin.


Monday evening, around 6 p.m. local time, he managed to climb over a shed and escape while the other inmates were working in the yard. That can be seen in images from the surveillance camera that are circulating on social media. The man climbs onto the roof and then uses a rope to damage the electric fence, it seems. In other images, you can see him jumping off the wall and running away.

After the escape, the police launched a manhunt in the area. The cops ring at every door to make sure he isn’t hiding there. Many roads have also been closed to nearby villages and towns.

It is extremely rare for anyone to escape from prison in China. But with the images circulating and the country’s image being dented, things can’t move fast enough for the security services. Therefore, they are offering a reward of 13,000 euros for all information that can help in the search for Zhu. That reward can even amount to 20,000 euros if the tip leads directly to his arrest. In comparison: 20,000 euros is almost five times the annual income of residents of Chinese cities and ten times that of Chinese in rural areas.

When Zhu escaped from North Korea on July 21, 2013, he did so via a river near Jilin. He broke into several houses that same night to steal money, mobile phones, shoes and clothes. It wasn’t until his third break-in that he was noticed by a woman, who started screaming. “I took a knife and stabbed that grandmother in the back,” the man admitted. “Then I saw that she was carrying a bag. I tried to tear it loose, and when that didn’t work, I gave her a few more stabs,” he said about that night at his trial. The woman eventually survived the facts. Hours later, he was arrested.

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