Villagers reported a man from Baicheng in Northeast China’s Jilin Province to the police five times in three days due to his striking resemblance to a North Korean criminal and defector, Zhu Xianjian. The inmate escaped from a prison in the northeastern city of Jilin after illegally entering China in 2013 and being convicted of a series of offences.
The man in the dark blue down jacket has near-identical facial characteristics, expressions, and even hairstyle to the prisoner, according to the footage, which has gone viral on social media. Before Zhu was apprehended, locals were on the lookout for anyone who looked like him.
According to a court ruling, he was sentenced to 11 years in jail for unlawful border crossing, larceny, and robbery, followed by deportation, according to a court order in China. However, on October 18, the offender escaped from prison, forcing local authorities to announce a reward of 700,000 yuan ($109,589) for information about his whereabouts, up from 150,00 yuan previously.
In China, where jail breakouts are rare, news of Zhu’s escape received widespread interest. The inmate also broke into multiple village homes within hours, stealing cash, cellphones, footwear, and clothing, sending state authorities into high alert. Zhu’s sentence was reduced twice in prison, in 2017 and 2020, for showing regret and maintaining excellent discipline. He was scheduled to be released in August 2023.
On Sina Weibo, one of the most popular social media platforms in China, people, understandably, felt sympathy for the man’s plight and recommended that he wear his identification card around his neck.