Russian prison guards catch crossbow drug smugglers; already on lookout for icons, cats & pigeons

© A. Nagibin
Smugglers, who tried to send mobile phones and drugs into a prison using a crossbow, with the substances hidden in the tip of an arrow, have been detained. While trafficking items in intestines is so last century, here are some not so obvious illegal methods.

A man and a woman with a crossbow were detained by Russian prison authorities in the St. Petersburg region, while they were trying to smuggle items into a high-security prison, the Federal Penitentiary Service reported on Tuesday.

© Kacper Pempel

There was an attempt to shoot an arrow loaded with heroin into the prison by using a crossbow,” the local authorities responsible for the security and maintenance of prisons in Russia said in a statement on their official website.

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The two people were caught in a car on the road near the prison, while a crossbow and arrows, with packages attached to them were discovered.

One of the parcels in question contained three mobile phones, the authorities said, while a white powder was discovered in the arrowhead. The substances discovered were later found to contain 30 grams of drugs, including methadone, amphetamine and hashish.

© Vladimir Pesnya

Only last week, authorities at a prison in Kemerovo in Siberia, reported that there were attempts to smuggle an icon into the jail. The icon of Saint Nicholas - who is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker because of the many miracles he is attributed to, was part of a parcel addressed to one of the inmates.

The holy framed painting of the saint, who would become the inspiration for the gift-bearing Santa Claus, was in fact bringing its very own presents, as hidden in the icon was a mobile phone, a custom made charger, two SIM cards and a USB cable.

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The prison authorities said it was the first time they had ever experienced icons being used to smuggle contraband for prisoners, as canned goods had always been more popular with those looking to get something illegal into the jail.

© Grigoriy Sisoev

Last year, a cat was caught at a prison check point in Komi in northern Russia. The furry feline was found to be carrying several cell phones which were attached to its body with duct tape.

International prison smuggling techniques have seen trained birds and kids drawings smothered with narcotics.

In August, a pigeon, which was trying to smuggle cocaine and cannabis into a jail in Costa Rica was intercepted by the guards. The bird was believed to have been groomed and trained to act as a courier by an inmate.

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In 2011, inmates at a US prison received drugs painted onto the pages of a children's coloring book. Signed "To Daddy," images of Snow White and Cinderella were colored with a narcotic drug, with police saying the inmates were supposed to lick it off the paper. Police said they only found out about the contraband, following a tip off.