Prison smuggling…says steps are being taken to address contraband smugglingFollowing a recent series of attempts to smuggle contraband and the discoveries of various illicit items at several prison facilities across the country, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan has expressed his disgust at the acts, saying that steps are being taken to curb this practice.Minister Ramjattan told reporters on Friday that these incidents, especially those involving prison officers, makes him angry and feel a sense of despair. To this end, he revealed that he has approached the Finance Ministry to acquire scanners to be installed at the entry and exist points of the various prison facilities.“It’s like the abnormal seems to be the rule there, you know, and we are trying asSome of the illicit items seized during last week’s raid at the Lusignan Prisonmuch [as we can]. I now have to get technological about it. You’d have to get scanners at the door that can pick up these things because I don’t think you can collude with scanners but… these scanners are very expensive and I hope people are not going to bypass the scanners too, that’s another problem but we’re gonna have cameras to ensure that the people will be seen who try to bypass,” the Minister said.Furthermore, he went on to recognise that the lack of proper management at these facilities is probably contributing to the increasing instances of smuggling attempts and the discoveries of dozens of contraband within the system.“When these things happen, it is obviously an administrative/management problem and you can say that some people have indicated what can better the situation. There’re some previous prison officers, who were of very high ranks that have indicated their suggestions to me. But it comes back, if the individual know – that prison warden know or the family members bringing in the things in foods and all of that – that that thing can be a disastrous thing, it can create a major problem for our security, why do they do it?” Ramjattan questioned.Moreover, the Public Security Minister further decried the actions of inmates, who recently posted photos of their merriment on social media while in jail.“We have these guys posting on Faceboook, having Ciroc on Mother’s Day. It is very embarrassing and disappointing, extraordinarily, so we have to still struggle with it but we must never give up… And so what we have to do is further strategise and get better recruits and teach them the consequences of not doing their jobs or doing it in a rogue fashion… and hopefully in better days coming we can also have better salaries and conditions of work,” asserted the Minister.Only last Saturday, an inmate at the Lusignan Prison was caught with a cutlass and a knife. This was followed by an attempt to throw several parcels of marijuana over the fence at the New Amsterdam Prison the same day.These incidents come on the heels of ranks of the Joint Services unearthing over 60 illicit items during a three-hour routine search at the East Coast Demerara penitentiary last week.Following these incidents, Prison Director (ag) Gladwin Samuels, reiterated pleas to the public to cease such acts.“I wish to encourage members of the public to desist from introducing contraband into the prison as it is a criminal offence that can lead to imprisonment and it also affects the security of the prison,” he appealed.The smuggling of contraband items remains a perennial problem within the prisons system and while authorities have been working to curb the practice, several prison officers have been caught facilitating the illegal trade, which is said to be a “big business”.