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Bulgarian escapes from special camp

A 55-year-old Bulgarian, named as an accused in a cheating case booked by Chennai City Crime Branch a couple of years ago and housed in the special camp near Central Prison here, has escaped.

Ilian Zdrakov Markok was brought to the special camp in August 2019. Authorities learnt about his escape only on Tuesday morning after he was found missing from his room. Police suspect that he escaped late on Sunday.

Police sources say Markok apparently used a sharp object to cut open the grille of the window in his room and jumped out. His room was found locked from inside and authorities grew suspicious and opened the screen only to find him missing.

The special camp, which is under the control of the Collector, accommodates more than 100 inmates belonging to different nationalities. They are at the camp for their involvement in various cases in the State and facing trial. A majority of them are Sri Lankan Tamils and a few belong to Russia, Nigeria and Bangladesh.

The escape of the Bulgarian comes despite the camp being equipped with CCTV units and watch towers. Personnel from Tamil Nadu Special Police maintain vigil in shifts.

Commissioner of Police A. Arun, accompanied by senior city police officers, inspected the camp following the incident and conducted inquiry. A manhunt has been launched to apprehend the Bulgarian.

Police sources say three special police teams, led by an Inspector of Police, have been constituted to track him. K.K. Nagar police have registered a case.

According to an official, inmates are provided with a cash dole of ₹175 each per day by the State government. They can buy grocery items and cook food inside the camp. Entry of visitors to meet them has been barred in view of COVID-19.

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