Prisoners at the Alagoas Jail in Arapiraca, Brazil, found a creative way to smuggle in contraband – a stray cat they trained to go home with visiting relatives and then return to the jail with useful items strapped to its body.
Authorities believe the items would have been used for a prison break had the feline not been intercepted by police guards. The grey-and-white female cat that had reportedly been cared for by prisoners since it was a kitten was caught on New Year's Eve with a plastic bag wrapped around its body containing an array of banned materials.
In an interview with O Globo newspaper, Marcelo Avelino, head of the prison guards' union, said the smuggler with nine lives was observed making its way inside the prison by "an agent (who) saw the cat and went to look at it closely because something about it seemed wrong."
Contained in the bag were saw blades and drill parts for drilling though concrete which could have been used to dig a tunnel. Additional contraband smuggled in by the cat apparently included earphones, a cellphone with a battery, and a charger.
"We were very surprised by this new tactic of prisoners," said Avelino.
Family members of the prisoners would routinely take the cat home after visits, according to prison officials.
More than 260 inmates are being investigated for any involvement in the security breach.
"It will be hard to discover who is responsible since the cat does not speak," a prison spokesman joked to the O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper on Saturday.
Immediately after its apprehension, the cat was taken to an animal disease center to receive medical care, according to local media reports. It isn't clear what happened to the cat after the hospital visit.
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