500 Drug Convicts to be moved to Khao Bin Prison in Ratchaburi

January 31, 2012

The Corrections Department is gearing up to transfer about 500 prisoners who have been convicted of serious drug offences to Khao Bin Central Prison’s “special zone” next month. Shifting them to the zone, which is equipped with high-tech security equipment, is a tactic to halt smuggling of illegal drugs into prisons and to stop inmates from continuing their drug operations on the outside.

Corrections Department deputy chief Kobkiart Kasiwiwat yesterday said commanders of maximum security prisons such as Bang Kwang Central Prison in Nonthaburi, Khao Bin Central Prison in Ratchaburi, Klong Pai Central Prison in Nakhon Ratchasima and Klong Prem Central Prison in Bangkok have been asked to identify inmates known to have connections with drug rings. The prisoners will be moved to Khao Bin Prison’s high-security section before 15 Feburary.

Devices to jam mobile-phone signals have been installed at Khao Bin, said Kobkiat, adding that the use of satellite phones between inmates and drug dealers outside prisons was not much of a worry because satellite-phone users were required to register the devices. Kobkiart said the use of pre-paid phone cards by inmates, which made their calls difficult to trace, would be raised during a meeting with a Senate panel on Friday. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission would be invited to discuss the matter.

Khao Bin Prison has about 2,500 prisoners and it can accommodate all 500 drug inmates earmarked for transfer. Guards at Khao Bin and other prisons will wear a new uniform free of metal badges and be required to check in for duty empty-handed and undergo a security procedure of the same standard deployed at airports, including metal-detectors. Kobkiat said prison guards typically bring bags of personal belongings and food with them to work, making inspections and control difficult.

Sources: Bangkok Post and The Nation

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