Cellphones widely used in jail, we even tap them: CCB

'We know how many SIMs are active, who's talking to whom'

Cellphones widely used in jail, we even tap them: CCB

The central crime branch (CCB) may believe that inmates of the Parappana Agrahara jail have easy access to mobile phones, but prison officials beg to differ. They say the use of mobile phones is “fully in check”.

The conflicting claims come to the fore two days after a City Armed Reserve (CAR) constable, Dinesh, was caught red-handed trying to sneak two smartphones into the high-security prison on October 11. The smartphones were reportedly meant for T Nazir, an accused in the 2008 serial blasts.

On Friday, the case was handed over to the CCB for investigation.

The CCB says it has “more than enough information” about how many phones and SIM cards are being used inside the jail and the prisoners who use them frequently. The sleuths even track the prisoners’ phone calls.

“A porous prison helps us a great deal in detecting and averting crimes,” a senior CCB officer said. “We have sufficient information about prisoners who frequently use mobile phones, whom they contact and for what. As soon as we get information about a SIM card being active in the prison, we tap the incoming and outgoing calls.”

The CCB even knows that some prisoners use WhatsApp, Skype, IMO, etc to make calls and send messages to avoid coming under the radar. “But we have our own policing tricks to know what’s being shared through these calls and messages,” the officer said.

Another senior officer said on a lighter note: “It would have been interesting had the two smartphones reached Nazir. We could have learnt whom he was talking to and what was he talking. We may have also learnt if he was hatching a conspiracy or just wanted to keep in touch with his family and others fighting his legal battle.”

Prison authorities and the jurisdictional police frequently raid the barracks to curb the use of mobile phones.

“We raided the prison only three weeks ago and seized a few small packets of marijuana and four SIM cards. Whenever we receive information, we conduct raids,” M B Boralingiah, DCP (Southeast), said.

Since it’s a sprawling prison, the news of the raids spreads rapidly, alerting the prisoners who quickly hide the gadgets and drugs. The raids fail most of the time, he added.

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