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Bananas used to smuggle money into South African prison

Three men were arrested after they allegedly tried to smuggle R600 into the Barberton Maximum Correctional Centre using bananas, the Department of Correctional Services said on Monday.

The three brothers were visiting a relative inside the facility on Saturday when a fruit basket filled with bananas and apples was spotted, spokesperson Mesia Hlungwani said in a statement.

The basket, intended for an inmate, was searched by officials when the money was found stashed in the bananas which were slightly cut open.

"From a distance, it looked like normal bananas but ... there was money hidden inside each banana," Hlungwani said.

The bananas which contained the money were placed underneath other bananas to appear inconspicuous.

Hlungwani said the arrests are a breakthrough in reducing smuggling in correctional centres.

"We warned the public about this before and we promised that those who smuggle in will face the mighty hand of the law. When we say zero tolerance to smugglers, we mean business," Hlungwani said.

Publication date: 8/8/2017


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