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​Community members risking police charges to smuggle contraband to inmates

Publication date: Tuesday, 10 October 2017

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Seven mobile phones, tobacco and the drug ice were seized by Corrective Services NSW officers over the weekend, as members of the public continue to smuggle illegal contraband into the state’s prisons.

Three women will be banned from visiting inmates and could face police charges after they were caught bringing in tobacco, buprenorphine and a crystal-like substance into Cooma and John Morony correctional centres.

Minister for Corrections David Elliott said there was nothing to be gained – and a lot to be lost – for community members who smuggle in contraband to correctional centres.

“The majority of family and friends who visit their loved ones in our correctional centres are good, law-abiding citizens, but unfortunately there are some people who think it’s worth taking the risk to smuggle in drugs and other items,” Mr Elliott said.

“My warning to you is: you will be caught and you will be banned from visiting - in some cases for up to two years. You might even be charged by police. So don’t do it. It’s not worth the risk.”

Alarm bells rung at Mid-North Coast Correctional Centre on Saturday when a person was seen running into bushes near the prison perimeter fence. A search of the area by CSNSW officers netted a stash of contraband and the numberplate of a car seen leaving the area at speed – both were referred to police.

Also on Saturday at Wellington Correctional Centre, a man was seen lurking around the prison gate house and a later search uncovered two parcels with a stash of tobacco, ice and mobile phones.

All up, at Cooma, John Morony, Mid-North Coast and Wellington correctional centres the following was seized:

  • 10 sim cards
  • 22 buprenorphine strips
  • Seven mobile phones
  • Two packets of tobacco
  • 62g of tobacco
  • 9g of ‘green vegetable matter’
  • 1.3g of ice
  • Five syringes
  • Nine packets of rolling papers
  • Three phone chargers
  • One USB

Commissioner Peter Severin praised staff for their good work in detecting suspicious behaviour and preventing contraband from getting into the centres.

“Our custodial staff do an excellent job in keeping the community safe by maintaining the good order and security of our centres,” Mr Severin said.