One of the contraband items in prison is tobacco, and due to its scarcity, inmates would treat them as an unofficial form of currency.
Recently, the police arrested three men for attempting to smuggle tobacco products using a drone into the Machang Prison in Kelantan.
The incident took place on 12 December at around 1.05 am, when the Machang district criminal investigation division received a report regarding a drone being flown above a compound near the prison.
According to Sinar Harian, Kelantan Police Chief Datuk Muhamad Zaki Harun said the operator of the drone was believed to be smuggling prohibited items into the prison.
“The police managed to locate the operator of the drone in a nearby area in Jalan Kuing Indah, Kampung Pangkal Meleret, Machang.”
“During the raid, three men aged 35 to 39 sped off in a Honda CRV when they noticed the presence of the police,” he shared, adding that they managed to arrest all three suspects on Jalan Utama Kuala Krai – Kota Bharu.
Muhamad Zaki said the police found five mobile phones, two units of power bank, a machete, 20 firecrackers, a type of dagger known as badik, and a roll of double tape in the vehicle.
As for the drone, the police found 13 packets of tobacco and 41 small compressed packages, which are believed to contain tobacco.
Flying drone without permit is an offence
All these items were then confiscated under Section 447 of the Penal code, Section 8 of the Explosives Act 1957 and Section 6 of the Corrosive Substances, Explosives and Dangerous Weapons Act 1958.
“On 19 December, they were charged at the Machang Magistrate’s Court and pleaded guilty to an offense under Section 58(1) of the Prison Act 1995 read with Section 34 of the Penal Code, and Regulation 140 of the Civil Aviation Regulations 2016 (MCAR) read with Section 34 of the Penal Code,”
One of them was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment and one stroke of the rotan by the Sessions Court in Kota Baru near here on Dec 20 after he pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of corrosive and explosive substances under Section 6 of the Corrosive, Explosive Substances and Dangerous Weapons Act 1957.
Muhamad Zaki then reminded the public that flying a drone without a permit or permission from the Civil Aviation Department is an offence, especially when it is used for criminal purposes.