Mexican drug kingpin escaped jail through mile-long tunnel

'El €˜Chapo' Guzman made 'Shawshank' style getaway

Mexico Kingpin 'Chapo' Guzman Stages Brazen Jailbreak
One of the world's most notorious criminals broke out of jail late Saturday night in an elaborate scheme reminiscent of hit movie The Shawshank Redemption.

Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, leader of Mexico's powerful Sinaloa drug cartel, is now on the run as authorities mount an immense manhunt for the criminal kingpin.

His audacious escape from Altiplano jail, 50 miles outside of Mexico City, saw him dash through a mile-long tunnel system, which led to a building under construction next to the prison - from where he collected clothes left for him by his conspirators.

The sophisticated tunnel contained air vents, electric lights, emergency oxygen tanks - and even a motorbike on rails to speed his escape.

50cm by 50cm hole discovered in cell's shower area

Guzman, who had bribed his way out of prison during an escape in 2001, was seen on video entering his shower area at 8.52 pm on Saturday, the National Security Commission (CNS) said.

Wanted by US prosecutors and once featured in the Forbes list of billionaires, Guzman was gone by the time guards entered his cell.

Beneath a 50cm by 50cm hole in the cell's shower area, guards found a ladder descending some 32 feet into the tunnel, which was about five feet high and 30 inches wide.

Prison workers were quickly detained over the escape. 18 officials from the penitentiary were being interrogated.

Guzman - whose nickname El Chapo ('The Shorty') is a reference to his height of 5ft 6ins - runs a drug empire that stretches across North America and into Europe and Australia.

His latest escape comes just 16 months after he was captured following more than a decade on the run. He currently faces federal drug trafficking indictments in the US, reports the Daily Mail.