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Phuket Prison Raided Before Dawn for Drugs, Telephones: Photo Special

Phuket Prison Raided Before Dawn for Drugs, Telephones: Photo Special

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
PHUKET: Governor Maitree Intrusud led a pre-dawn raid on Phuket Prison today to hunt for drugs, mobile telephones and other contraband.

About 90 volunteers took part and the prison staff were not informed until the raid was underway.

There were 2521 prisoners in the jail as the gates opened to the raiding party in darkness today, not including seven babies who spend nights in the prison with their mothers.

Some of the Western inmates wore masks to hide their identities but Phuketwan spotted some familiar faces among the prisoners.

Briton Lee Aldhouse, sentenced last month to 25 years for the murder of former US marine Dashawn Longfellow, has been moved to another facility in Nakkon Si Thammarat.

''We do our best to help the prison staff cope,'' the governor said. ''The jail was built 102 years ago to hold 750 prisoners and it now has to cope with three times that number.''

With cash from the governor, the women's section has been renovated and ceiling fans and television sets have been added to all of the dormitory cells.

Phuket has the oldest prison in Thailand and the budget has been set aside for a new facility at Bang Jo.

''We hope Phuket will be the first of the new prisons for Thailand once the political situation settles down,'' said the jail's commander, Rapin Nichanon, who has encouraged a public massage parlor and a car wash service.

The extra cash means prisoners on Phuket enjoy three meals a day. Eighty-five percent of inmates are serving time for drugs offences or awaiting trial for drugs offences.

Prisoners awaiting a court date mingle with inmates serving up to 15 years.

Today's drug tests involved 1385 for methamphetamine and 250 for marijuana, said the Deputy Chief of Phuket's Public Health service, Dr Prapronsri Narinraksa.

Only one proved positive - a man who said he had been taking paracetamol for a fever. A trip to hospital will be required to confirm his claim.

Raids are carried out at least twice a year and the Phuket Prison currently has ''white'' status - free from drugs and contraband.

Friends of inmates have been known, however, to sew mobile telephones inside dead rats before throwing them over the jail's high wall. So far the trick hasn't worked.

Comments

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Not suggesting anything untoward but it appears to be extremely orderly and tidy for a surprise dawn raid!
Image 11n is not titled but clearly "Is that a lethal weapon concealed in your shorts?"

Posted by Amazed in Thailand on December 11, 2013 13:16


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