Some prison guards intercepted a pigeon trying to deliver a cellphone to inmates inside a facility in Brazil, corrections officials in the country have said.

The Department of Penitentiary Administration said guards at the Nilton Silva prison in Franco da Rocha spotted some inmates attempting to catch a pigeon that was wearing a vest-like garment apparently designed for smuggling contraband into the prison.

The guards intercepted the bird and discovered the vest contained a cellphone and battery.

In a similar vein, Telegraph reports that, two carrier pigeons carrying mobile phones to detainees at a prison in Sorocaba, 62 miles from Sao Paolo, were intercepted.

“Penitentiary agents found the pigeons outside the Danilo Pinheiro prison but, fortunately, the birds did not have time to enter the prison building with the material,” said Rosana Alberto.

Each pigeon was carrying a small bag containing a mobile phone and charger, she said.

The birds were caught on two successive days, last Wednesday and Thursday, February 9 and 10.

The use of pigeons to smuggle contraband into jail is the latest twist in a ongoing struggle by criminal networks to deliver forbidden goods into Brazil’s prisons.

Criminal organizations like “Red Commando” in Rio de Janeiro or the “First Commando of the Capital” in Sao Paulo, which are well established in the detention centres, have extensive supply networks.

In the past they have use accomplices, from lawyers to corrupt prison guards, to smuggle in banned substances, weapons and mobile phones to the detainees, according to the police.

The goods are then traded or used to organise crimes from inside the jails.

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