Mobile phone war mbphones1Mobile phones seized from inmates are displayed at Klong Prem prison. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD A remarkable number of inmates

A remarkable number of inmates in Thai prisons have acquired mobile phones and they aren’t using them to make friendly calls to their loved ones.

Instead, they appear to be calling drug dealers to supply their lucrative business of selling drugs to fellow prisoners. With the Thai prison population increasing by between 2,000 and 3,000 prisoners a month, most of them charged with drug offences, there is a very big market for their products.

Yesterday, the Corrections Department stepped up its war on drug sales in jails by destroying more than 300 mobile phones taken from inmates.
n official shows how a mobile phone is hidden in a modified soft drink bottle. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD

In a show put on in front of reporters at Bangkok’s Klong Prem Central prison, the department also destroyed plastic bottles and other containers modified to hide the cell phones.

The phones’ SIM cards were sent for examination by the Office of the Narcotics Control Board to trace the inmates’ contacts with drug dealers, said department chief Nathee Jitsawang.

‘‘We have to separate fish from water,’’ Mr Nathee said.

Other measures being taken against the prison drug trade include installing security cameras and devices to scramble telephone signals in high security areas.

Warders are also rotated between jails to prevent them getting too close to prisoners.

Mr Nathee said jail staff were becoming more aware of the methods used by visitors to smuggle mobile phones and drugs to prisoners.

Some of the more novel approaches have included putting drugs inside footballs and rattan takraw balls and kicking them over the wall.

Adapted from a story in today's Bangkok Post by King-oua Laohong

seize – to take something using official power and force เข้าจับกุม
inmate – someone who is kept in a prison นักโทษ
display – to put something in a particular place so that people can easily see it แสดง
remarkable – unusual in a way that surprises or impresses you ที่น่าประทำใจ อย่างไม่เชื่อสายตา
acquire – to get something ได้มาซึ่ง
appear – to seem เหมือนว่า
lucrative – bringing in a lot of money ที่ทำรายได้สูง
fellow – similar to you or in the same situation as you (fellow prisoners refers to other prisoners) เพื่อนยาก คนที่อยู่ในสภาพเดียวกัน ในที่นี้หมายถึงนักโทษคนอื่นๆ
charge – an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime ตั้งข้อหา
offence – a crime or illegal activity for which there is a punishment การกระทำผิดกฎหมายซึ่งต้องได้รับการลงโทษ
step up – to increase; to strengthen เพิ่ม ทำให้เข้มงวด
modified – changed in some way ปรับเปลี่ยน
trace – to find someone or something that you are looking for ติดตาม,สืบหาร่องรอย
contact – communication การติดต่อสื่อสาร
separate – to keep people or things apart from each other, in this case, to keep prisoners from contacting drug dealers แยกออกจากกัน
measure – an action intended to achieve or deal with something มาตรการ
device – a machine or piece of equipment that does a particular thing อุปกรณ์ เครื่องมือ
scramble – to change the form of a radio or phone message so that ordinary equipment will not be able to understand it ส่งสัญญาณรบกวน
warder – someone whose job is to guard prisoners in a prison พัศดี
rotate – to replace one person with another and send the first person to another place or job โยกย้าย
aware – knowing about a situation or fact รู้ ตระหนักถึง
smuggle – to take someone or something secretly and illegally into or out of a place ลักลอบผิดกฎหมาย
novel – new or unusual แปลก ใหม่
approach – a way of doing something กลยุทธ์เชิงรุก วิธีการทำให้ถึงจุดหมาย
rattan – a plant with long thin stems, using for making furniture and other things ต้นหวาย

Posted by Terry Fredrickson at 08:33 AM


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