Pubdate: Sun, 19 Dec 2010
Source: Bangkok Post (Thailand)
Copyright: The Post Publishing Public Co., Ltd. 2010
Author: King-oua Laohong


RATCHABURI : Inmates at Khao Bin prison will find it harder to run the
drugs trade from behind bars after authorities installed mobile phone
signal jammers there, as part of Corrections Department efforts to
keep jails clean.

Justice Minister Pirapan Salirathavibhaga said eight jammers have been
installed at the maximum security jail, which authorities hope will
help stamp out the drugs trade flourishing behind bars.

They were not powerful enough to disrupt phones in use outside the

The 50 million baht cost of installing the jammers at Khao Bin prison,
in Chom Bung district, was funded by the Office of the Narcotics
Control Board.

Justice Department director-general Chartchai Suthiklom said jammers
would also be installed at Khlong Prem Central Prison and Bang Kwang
Central Prison, Central Correctional Institution for Drug Addicts, and
Khlong Phai Central Prison.

Inmates convicted in drug cases can cause trouble even from behind
bars, Mr Chartchai said.

Their partners smuggle in mobile phones, which the inmates use to run
the drugs trade. They exchange information and form even larger drug
trade networks from inside jail.

The mobile phones find their way inside by various means. Some are
stuffed inside presents. In jail, a mobile phone can cost 150,000 baht
or more. A mobile phone SIM card is usually sold separately for
several thousand baht.

Surachai Phumkaeo, chief of Khao Bin prison, said guards foil up to
three attempts a week by relatives to smuggle phones into the jail.

Mr Surachai said the cost of a smuggled mobile phone at his jail can
reach 200,000 baht, while smuggled methamphetamine sells for up to 700
baht a tablet. 
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