Muslim chaplain arrested trying to smuggle £60,000 worth of the drug Spice into prison
December 9, 2018
Mohamed Rawat, drug mule
A Muslim chaplain has been arrested after allegedly trying to smuggle £60,000 worth of illegal drugs into one of Britain’s most notorious prisons.
Mohamed Rawat was caught at Belmarsh jail allegedly carrying more than 60 sheets of paper soaked in the highly addictive synthetic substance spice.
The 49-year-old imam was dramatically detained at the prison gates after a secret probe by the anti-corruption unit at the Category A jail in South East London.
Inmates there have included extremist preacher Anjem Choudary, and Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, the jihadi killers of soldier Lee Rigby.
Volunteer chaplain Rawat has been banned from going back to the prison while he is under investigation.
The audacious plot to allegedly use a trusted cleric as a mule shows the determination of criminal gangs to sell drugs to inmates.
Dealers have recruited dozens of prison officers to smuggle in drugs while others have used drones to fly contraband over the walls.
Spice is particularly sought-after behind bars because it cannot be detected in drugs tests and can be sprayed on to sheets of paper.
All prisons now seize letters and books sent to inmates and give them photocopies, in case the originals are saturated in spice.
The drug causes similar reactions to cannabis but is far stronger and causes some users to become violent and delusional.
Earlier this year Prisons Minister Rory Stewart warned: ‘There are many drivers of prison violence – the greatest is probably the surge in the use of spice and other mind-altering drugs.’
Its widespread use in prisons puts a huge strain on the NHS as ambulances have to be sent to inmates who have overdosed, and it has been linked to suicides and violent deaths in cells. Last year guards at Belmarsh fell ill after accidentally inhaling the drug.
The jail now has sniffer dogs, a body-scanner machine in the reception area and an ‘itemiser’ that can test for drugs in the post room.
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