A routine operation searching cars and their occupants at Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility on Sunday morning led to Police arresting a man because of items found in his vehicle.
“The man was at the prison to pick up a form to apply to be an approved visitor for a prisoner. However, anyone arriving on our property can be searched no matter what they are there for, and because of what we found in this man’s car, it is unlikely he will be allowed on to the site again for a long, long time,” says Prison Manager Agnes Robertson.
Alerting the suspicion of staff was a large amount of cash, including foreign dollars, that the man had inside his car. The value was more than NZD$20,000. When staff continued searching they also found a quantity of drugs – thought to be worth around $10,000.
The drugs were primarily packaged as ‘plugs’, small glad-wrapped parcels for internal concealment. Staff found cannabis and drugs suspected to be dimethyltryptamine and ketamine as well as more than 100 canisters of nitrous oxide gas.
The man was detained by staff until the Police arrived to arrest him and remove the contraband items, which are likely to be used as evidence against him if he is charged with their possession.
“The demand for drugs in prison is high and unfortunately prisoners put a lot of pressure on their friends and family to smuggle it in for them. It is our job to keep it out,” says Ms Robertson.
“Contraband, like drugs and weapons, making their way into the hands of prisoners is extremely dangerous for other prisoners, our staff and in rare cases, the public. It is unacceptable and the exact reason we continue to be vigilant in our searches and our general screening of visitors, contractors, and staff. In addition to the man facing possible criminal charges laid by Police, we will also look to ban him from visiting the prison, meaning he won't be able to visit his friend while she serves her sentence.”
“Every single person entering the prison goes through the same security process and we will not hesitate in taking action against people naive enough to think that they will get away with it,” says Ms Robertson.
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