Police in Russia's far eastern Magadan region are investigating after a drone loaded with mobile phones crashed over a penal colony, the regional branch of the Federal Prison Service (FSIN) said in a statement Monday.
Guards at Penal Colony No. 3 spotted the quadcopter drone late Friday night as it flew toward the correctional facility and concluded that it was being manned by someone outside of the territory, the statement said.
A group of dog handlers was dispatched to apprehend the perpetrators but they managed to escape by car, after which the drone crashed over the colony, the statement added.
Upon examination of the aircraft, guards found two mobile phones strapped to the drone and two SIM cards — presumably intended for prisoners to make unmonitored phone calls from inside the colony.
Russian criminals and their accomplices have shown before they are willing to get creative when thinking up ways to smuggle contraband into jail.
In June 2013, guards at Penal Colony No. 1 in the northern Komi republic apprehended a cat that was trying to enter the territory with banned items strapped to its body.
Inside the packages the cat was carrying, guards found two cell phones with batteries and chargers, the regional branch of the penitentiary service department said in a statement.
A year earlier, narcotics police in in the southern Rostov region apprehended a cat that was being used to smuggle heroin into a local penal colony in its collar.