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Cat Caught Smuggling Cell Phones Into Prison

A guard showing the offending cat.

MOSCOW, June 3 (RIA Novosti) — Prison guards in Russia's northern Republic of Komi have caught a cat with banned objects, namely cell phones and chargers, attached to its body, the region's penitentiary service said on its website on Monday.

The cat was caught on Friday while climbing the fence of the Penal Colony No. 1 near the republic's capital Syktyvkar.

"Two packages were taped to the animal's back. When the packages were unwrapped, guards found objects prohibited in the penitentiary facility — two cell phones with batteries and chargers," the Republic of Komi penitentiary service department said in a statement posted on its website.

The fate of the cat is unknown.

Though this is the first such incident in the Komi prison, cats are sometimes used by Russian inmates to deliver drugs.

Last August, narcotics police in South Russia's Rostov region have unveiled a scheme in which a cat was used to smuggle heroin into a penitentiary facility. The cat was taken out of the prison by released inmates, who carried the animal in their bags and handed it over to drug dealers waiting outside the prison fence. They stuffed the feline's collar with heroin and released the animal, which sneaked back into the prison.

In a similar case in 2010, a cat with heroin-laden collar was killed by a jail dog while trying to smuggle heroin to a convict in Russia's Volga Republic of Tatarstan.

The tactics was also used by inmates in Arapiraca city, in Brazil's northeastern Alagoas state. In January, a cat has been caught while trying to slip through the prison gates with numerous tools taped to its body, including a saw and drills.

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