Checkmate for package of drugs destined for prison
Corrections staff and a detector dog searching incoming prisoner mail at Manawatu Prison this morning found a package of
chess pieces packed with a cannabis leaf and oil.
The find comes on the same day that another Corrections detector dog team was awarded first place for narcotic detection
at the National Police Dog Trials held at Trentham this week.
“Today’s drug find was great work by staff and the detector dog, who found the drugs before they got into the hands of
prisoners,” says Prison Director Mark Cookson.
“Prisoner mail and incoming property are regularly searched. The detector dog gave a clear indication on this particular
item. When it was opened, it became clear that the chess pieces had been tampered with.
“In total the package contained 12.53 grams of cannabis leaf and 12.25 grams of oil.”
“Managing the introduction of contraband into prisons is a constant challenge. Drugs can create a more dangerous working
environment for our staff, and prevent prisoners from engaging in rehabilitation, education and employment
Contraband in prisons includes tobacco, alcohol, communication devices, drugs, drug paraphernalia, tattoo equipment, and
weapons. It also includes some everyday and seemingly innocent items that while not illegal, may be used inappropriately
A range of methods are used at prisons across New Zealand to prevent drugs, weapons, cellphones from entering. They
include 24 detector dog teams operating across the country, x-ray technology, telephone monitoring of prisoners’ calls
and single points of entry to sites.
“We’re also vigilant about holding people to account when they do attempt to introduce contraband. We have a great
relationship with Police locally and we’ve referred the matter to them for investigation and possible criminal charges.
The person responsible will also be banned from visiting the prison for the maximum period of 12 months.”
We encourage anyone who is being pressured to bring drugs into a prison to report it to anonymous crime reporting line
Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.