Tags: cat | russia | prison | phone | smuggling

Cat Russia Prison Phone Smuggling Is Out of the Bag

Image: Cat Russia Prison Phone Smuggling Is Out of the Bag Guards show a cat they caught while it was on a clandestine mission at the Penal Colony No. 1 near the city of Syktyvkar in the Komi province, 1,000 kilometers (some 600 miles) northeast of Moscow, Russia.

Tuesday, 04 Jun 2013 02:25 PM

By Michael Mullins

A cell phone smuggling cat was caught by Russian prison authorities attempting to breach a remote prison camp in the nation's far north.

The cat was observed scaling a fence on the perimeter of the prison work camp by guards with two cell phones, batteries and chargers strapped to its back with tape, Agence France-Presse reports.

"Two packages were taped to the animal’s back. When the packages were unwrapped, guard's found objects prohibited in the penitentiary facility–two cell phones with batteries and chargers," Russia’s regional prison service said in a statement released to state-run RIA Novosti.

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"They have foiled various attempts to smuggle banned objects into Prison Colony Number One before, but in the case of the cat. The prison colony is at a loss: nothing like this has happened in the prison’s history," the statement read.

Prison authorities later released a photo of the black-and-white cat being held up by the scruff of its neck by a guard. The bulky contraband remains attached to its fur in the photo.

Russian authorities did not say what will happen to the cell phone smuggling cat.
Contraband smuggling cats are apparently nothing new in Russia, where in the past felines have been trained to smuggle drugs into various prison facilities throughout the country.

Last year, agents found a cat which had its collar stuffed with heroin attempting to gain entry into a prison facility in southern Russia’s Rostov Region, RIA reported.

Russia isn't the only place where cats are employed by inmates to smuggle in banned materials.

On New Year's Eve, 2012, a cat was caught by prison guards attempting to smuggle in saw blades and drill parts among other items to prisoners at the Alagoas Jail in Arapiraca, Brazil.

Similarly, the contraband was enclosed in a plastic bag that was taped to the animal's body.

The stray cat, which had reportedly been cared for by prisoners since it was a kitten, had been given to inmate family members who then secured the banned items to its body.

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In addition to the saw blades and drill parts used for drilling though concrete, which authorities say could have been used to dig a tunnel, additional contraband smuggled in by the cat included earphones, a cellphone with a battery, and a charger, O Globo newspaper reported.

Much like in the recent cell phone smuggling cat in Russia, the fate of Brazil's feline smuggler is also unknown.

Related stories:

Poisonous Frog Smuggling at Israeli Airport Thwarted by Inspectors

Kenya Police Find Record Haul of Smuggled Ivory

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