Prison authorities of Nueva Esperanza jail in Colon City, Panama have intercepted the most unlikely smuggler, a fluffy white feline, carrying a variety of narcotics in a pouch tied to its neck and tried to enter the prison.
The “Cat smuggler” was stopped outside the prison, which houses more than 1,700 inmates, in the Caribbean province of Colon, north of the capital Panama City. With over 18,000 inmates in only 23 prisons, over-crowding is a major problem in Panama.
“The animal had a cloth tied around its neck” that contained wrapped packages of white powder, leaves and “vegetable matter”, according to Andres Gutierrez, the head of the Panama Penitentiary System. They came to a conclusion that they are narcotics like cocaine, crack and marijuana.
This was posted on Twitter by Policía Nacional de Panamá (Panama’s National Police) on the 17th of April and took the internet by storm.
“Comprometidos con el bienestar de nuestra fauna doméstica, uniformados del Complejo Penitenciario Nueva Esperanza de la provincia de Colón, entregaron un gato a la Fundación Adopta por Amor y Defensores de Animales. #UnPanamáMejor” The twitter post read.
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Comprometidos con el bienestar de nuestra fauna doméstica, uniformados del Complejo Penitenciario Nueva Esperanza de la provincia de Colón, entregaron un gato a la Fundación Adopta por Amor y Defensores de Animales. #UnPanamáMejor pic.twitter.com/fdNZAEhvWx— Policía Nacional (@ProtegeryServir) April 16, 2021
This not the first smuggling of its kind. Although it is not the “Cat smuggler” always. It had been in practice for decades but the animals usually escape before getting caught. Prisoners usually have someone outside to load the animals with drugs and other contraband and they lure them inside the prison with food. Prisoners use small animals like cats, homing pigeons, other kinds of birds and sometimes drones to smuggle contraband into the prisons.
There was one incident from 2019, where criminal gangs used dead rats to smuggle mobile phones,charging wires, SIM cards and drugs into the Guys Marsh prison near Shaftesbury, Dorset, UK. Dead rats were stuffed with the phones and drugs and were thrown over the fence into the prison where inmates would find them. The jail officials found a large amount of various drugs like cannbis and spice and as many as 5 mobile phones along with charges together with three SIM cards.
The cat smuggler of Sri Lanka
One such incident occured in Welikada prison, a high-security prison in Sri Lanka last year. Jail intelligence officials caught a cat carrying 2gm of Heroin, 2 SIM cards and a memory chip in a plastic bag tied to its neck!
In another news, earlier there were reports of an Eagle being used to distribute drugs and narcotics in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The office of the drugs prosecutor, of Colon, Panama said on Twitter that they have started investigating into the use of animals, birds and other ways for smuggling illegal substances and contraband into prisons and for distribution outside the prisons.
Prosecutor Eduardo Rodriguez said the “Cat smuggler” now in their custody and that it will be taken to a pet adoption centre later.
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