Monday, March 10, 2014

Private drone used to drop off drugs in to Australian Prison

Australian police are holding a 28-year-old man in custody for allegedly using a remote control drone carrying illicit drugs into Melbourne Assessment Prison, a maximum-security prison on the outskirts of Melbourne.

Police were called to the prison on Sunday afternoon after the small remote, unmanned craft (UAV) was seen hovering over the facility.

The male suspect and an unidentified female were later found on a nearby road with a drone and “a small quantity of drugs.”

Authorities are reportedly charging the suspect with “attempting to commit an indictable offense and possessing a drug of dependence.”

Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill said the incident was worrying, but he pledged that police would fight any hi-tech contraband smuggling ­attempts head-on.

“Certainly, it’s a concern that elements within society would use different technologies to further their criminal pursuits.

At the same time, Victoria Police will be engaging in advancing our capabilities through different technologies to ensure that we’re one step ahead of these criminal ­elements,” he said.

The hi-tech smuggling ­attempt is a modern version of throwing tennis balls filled with drugs over prison walls.

Maximum-security prisons use hi-tech machinery to ­detect contraband but they are still not impenetrable.

Sources say drugs, particularly methamphetamine or ice, are now widespread throughout the jail system.

Other contraband items in high demand are SIM cards, mobile phones and porn.

A Victoria Correction Dept. spokesman said a combination of surveillance and intelligence was used to help identify the potential for contraband to be smuggled in.

“In this case, staff identified the remote-controlled vehicle and assisted Victoria Police in identifying two individuals,’’ he said.

Sunday’s incident in Australia mirrored a similar event on the other side of the Pacific, where a remote controlled helicopter was used to drop 250 grams of cocaine into the courtyard of CDP (Provisional Detention Centre), a corrections facility near Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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