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Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Muslim prisoners ran £30mil drug-smuggling operation – using laptops given by the government
Elaborate ploy even involved a man deliberately getting sent to prison
He was the fixer, who helped orchestrate movement of heroin from Asia
Computer hacker used smuggled USB stick to penetrate jail’s laptops
From there they connected to the internet and organised entire operation, including delivery and dealing of £30m worth of illegal drugs
A gang of drug dealers hacked into prison laptops to run their £30million empire from behind bars.
The inmates involved in the ring – led by British Asians – were all serving time in the country’s biggest jail, HMP Wandsworth, when they infiltrated locked computers provided by the Ministry of Justice to allow lags access to legal guidance and solicitors.
They went to the extreme of paying a fixer £1million to get himself deliberately jailed on fraud charges so that he could orchestrate their global operation importing deadly heroin and ketamine into the UK from right under the eyes of wardens.
A prison guard was even part of the operation, helping the group smuggle internet-receiving dongle devices into the jail so that they could liaise with suppliers around the world.
The ring of British Asians were all serving time in the country’s biggest jail, HMP Wandsworth, when they infiltrated locked computers provided by the Ministry of Justice to allow lags access to legal guidance and solicitors
There are now major question marks hanging over the quality of security at the London prison, as the gang managed to ship more than a ton of illegal substances into Britain during three years behind bars.
Shadow prisons minister Jenny Chapman told The Independent: ‘This needs an immediate investigation and it’s rather symptomatic of the system in its current state.
‘We cannot allow inmates’ access to equipment that should be a privilege to be abused in this way.
‘Overcrowded and understaffed – these are just the kind of security breaches we find when staff are working under pressure.’
The plotters are reported to have manipulated the court system so that they all were placed together in high security HMP Wandsworth.
There are now major question marks hanging over the quality of security at the London prison, as the gang managed to ship more than a ton of illegal substances into Britain during three years behind bars
They were able to gather at the prison after the ‘fixer’ – a transport expert – ensured he was jailed by a south London court which serves the prison.
Once inside, they used complex computing coding inscripted onto a USB memory stick smuggled into the jail to penetrate the security firewall on the prison’s laptops, which are provided by the MOJ at the taxpayer’s expense to allow inmates to contact lawyers and read legal documents under a scheme known as ‘Access to Justice’.
A corrupt prison officer is said to have provided the gang with a mobile phone.
As part of their global operation, the drugs were sneaked into Britain from south Asia in holdalls hidden in shipping containers.
A prison guard was even part of the operation, helping the group smuggle internet-receiving dongle devices into the jail so that they could liaise with suppliers around the world (stock photograph)
When they reached British shores they’d then be distributed to London dealers, who themselves were ran by the jailed group.
In total, £30million worth of illegal drugs made it on to the capital’s streets across the three-year period between 2010 and 2013.
Peter Dawson, deputy director of the Prison Reform Trust, defended allowing inmates access to computers.
He said: ‘Risk of abuse can be limited by secure access and effective monitoring. If the Prison Service never found evidence of some prisoners behaving badly, it would mean its checks were either non-existent or ineffective.’
The Ministry of Justice added that the laptops usually do not allow web usage.
A spokesperson said: ‘The computers do not enable prisoners to access any other part of the National Offender Management Service system and internet access is disabled.
‘We will always take action against those attempting to break the rules and offenders face prosecution if they use equipment inappropriately.’