Support The Moscow Times!

Cell Phones, Yeast Confiscated from Russian Prison-Bound Drones

Drones may now officially qualify as the tool of choice for prison contraband smuggling in Russia, after two incidents of attempted drone deliveries were reported within as many days in separate regions across the country.

Employees of a prison hospital in the northern Komi region detained a man who was trying to launch a radio-controlled quadcopter drone from an adjacent restricted territory into the hospital, the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) said in a statement Tuesday.

The drone was intended to carry a cargo of banned goods, including four cell phones, chargers and a battery, three packs of cards, and four packets of yeast, the statement said. Inmates use yeast to ferment alcoholic drinks.

The incident followed a similar case reported in the Magadan region of Russia's Far East a day earlier, when guards seized a quadcopter drone that crashed inside a prison colony with a cargo of cell phones, according to a statement by the regional FSIN branch.

Cell phones are among the most popular contraband to smuggle into Russian prisons .In another incident in Russia's Stavropol region in the North Caucasus, guards at Penal Colony No. 3 detained a man at a nearby territory and seized from him four plastic-wrapped packages that contained 24 cell phones, the FSIN said in its Tuesday statement.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.