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Posted: Wednesday 9 October, 2019 at 9:25 AM

Drones being used to smuggle contraband in T&T Prison

By: Stanford Conway,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – NEWS coming out of Trinidad and Tobago stated that criminals are using drones to smuggle contraband items into the penal institution of the twin-island Republic.


    According to the Trinidad Express, criminals are using drones to smuggle drugs, cell phones and other contraband to inmates at prisons in Trinidad.

    The media outlet stated that Prisons Commissioner Gerard Wilson disclosed that the use of drones had increased following the launch of the Prisons Interdiction Unit (PIU), a team of officers assigned to the entrances of all prisons to deal with the issue of contraband smuggling involving prison officers.

    The unit, it noted, was implemented in April 2019.

    The media outlet also stated that during an interview with the Commissioner of Prisons, he said that within recent months prison authorities had discovered that drones were being used to transport contraband into the jails. And if officers were not prepared to take on the challenge, the Prison Service would be “caught with our pants down”.

    “There are now drones operating in the prison environment. It is not only officers involved in this, so I am now telling you, this is 2019 and if we are not up to the challenges we will be caught with our pants down,” Trinidad Express quoted Wilson as saying.

    SKNVibes spoke to a number of persons, who expressed the view that “criminal minds in the Caribbean are greatly influenced by what they see and read happening in North America and other developed countries”.

    Reference was made to a 2013 incident in which four persons were arrested in the United States of America after a remote-controlled helicopter was allegedly used to fly tobacco into Calhoun State Prison in Georgia, but prison officers had spotted the device hovering over the prison yard and they alerted the police.

    Reference was also made to a 2014 incident involving a small helicopter that was used to drop approximately 250 grams of cocaine onto a prison near Sao Paulo, Brazil. 

    And in Russia, four persons had reportedly planned to deliver 700 grams of heroin to a Tula region prison by an unmanned helicopter, but they were caught and arrested before carrying out the act.
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