File photo: Anwar bin Kim An, who was serving life sentence at a Jakarta prison for raping and killing a schoolgirl, escaped dressed like a Muslim woman in a veil and sunglasses iStock

A man who was convicted of raping and killing a 12-year-old schoolgirl in Jakarta has escaped from a prison by disguising himself as a Muslim woman. He walked past the prison guards wearing a veil, usually worn by Muslim women, a pair of sunglasses and lipstick, police said.

The CCTV camera at the prison recorded him walking out of the visitors' room with his wife and children. Police have now launched a search operation to nab Anwar bin Kim An, who was serving a life sentence at the prison.

The incident took place on Thursday (7 July) at the Salemba prison in central Jakarta when inmates were allowed to meet their families on the occasion of Eid. Jakarta police spokesman Awi Setiyono told AFP that the convict put on the woman's clothing in the meeting room and then walked out of the room and the prison without being recognised by anyone. He said the inmate could escape because the prison was crowded and there were few guards. The spokesman added that women visitors were not subject to any security checks during that visit.

"The wife gave him the woman's clothing and he just changed his clothes in the meeting room where all the inmates meet with their families. He put on some lipstick and later walked away as a woman accompanied by his wife and their two children," The Straits Times quoted the spokesman as telling AFP.

The spokesman added that police have interrogated the wife on suspicion of helping her husband, but could not detain her for further investigation because of the two children she looks after.

Kim An was jailed just four months ago for the rape and murder in October 2015. Incidents of such prison breaks are reported to be common in Indonesia due to lack of tight security and overcrowded prisons. Earlier in 2012, a terror convict had escaped from a high-security Indonesian prison by disguising himself as a Muslim woman in a burqa.