November 19, 2008 / 8:47 PM / 11 years ago

Search widened for cardboard box fugitive

BERLIN (Reuters) - German police searching nationwide for a convicted drug dealer who escaped from jail by hiding in a cardboard box to be taken away for recycling plan to issue an international arrest warrant for him.

A Viersen police spokesman said the 37-year-old Turkish national, whose seven-year prison sentence for drug dealing runs to 2011, had escaped from the Willich prison by hiding in a cardboard box about to be picked up by a recycling truck.

“Shortly after the truck that he riding in got beyond prison walls, he slit open the box and then cut open the truck’s tarpaulin to escape,” said Wolfgang Wiese, Viersen police spokesman. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Police have been searching in vain for the fugitive since last week, he said. An international search warrant is being prepared in the event he is not found soon, he added.

Reporting by Josie Cox

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