Vassilis Palaiocostas, who has been on the run since 2009 when he escaped from Korydallos Prison in a helicopter, has had plastic surgery to change his appearance, it emerged on Wednesday.

The procedure became obvious in photographs the police released on Wednesday of a man at a service station in central Greece in February 2011. Officers said the man was Palaiocostas and the photos were taken shortly before a car he was traveling in with another suspect was chased by police. More than 20 shots were fired by the two men, who injured a policeman before escaping.

The photos were released after a magistrate issued an arrest warrant for Palaiocostas in connection to the incident.

Officers also told Kathimerini that they believe the convicted criminal is working with Nikos Maziotis, a member of the urban guerrilla group Revolutionary Struggle who absconded last year.

The pair are thought to have conducted a number of bank robberies with several other accomplices.