Acting Prisons Commissioner Deopersad Ramoutar said the Prison Service had noted an increase in the number of drones being used around prisons, especially over the last year, and had taken remedial action. A recent viral video on social media , had shown what appeared to be a drone dropping off contraband items inside the walls of the maximum security prison in Arouca.
Prison officers expressed concerns about the use of drones over prisons, with a senior officer saying it was a “ticking time bomb” issue that needed to be addressed. Ramoutar told the media recently : “All it takes is one drone, one drone that we don’t catch, which may drop knives or even guns, and we can have a very serious situation on our hands. So far, everything we’ve seized has been contraband items—cigarettes, weed, phones, chargers and so on. But if we miss even one, it can be a very dangerous situation in the prison and for the country”.
Another major threat in the prisons is the issue of cellphones being used by inmates to engage their counterparts outside the prison, sometimes to carry out illegal activities. Ramoutar also said: “Cellphone jammers inside the country’s prisons are not enough to stop criminals behind bars from sending messages to others on the outside”.
On July 5th a Wi-Fi box was among several contraband items seized at the Maximum security prison in Arouca. Raanoutar said: “Prisoners with cellphones and tablets who cannot make calls, but they can use either the phone’s data, or if they have access to a hot-spot device or a Wi-Fi box, they will be able to make calls via social media apps. They communicate with the outside sending coded messages on WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. So there is still the issue of communication with the outside world.