A South Coast Correctional Centre inmate is being questioned after being caught with a shopping bag full of mobile phones and drug paraphernalia.
The 47-year-old minimum-security inmate involved in the incident in South Nowra on Friday was placed in segregation while police investigations continue.
Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin congratulated the officers working in the prison's industries area for their vigilance in exposing the contraband.
"When one of those inmates tried to distract him, the officer realised that a crime may have taken place. Officers immediately searched the group and discovered one of the offenders had a Woolworths bag full of contraband stuffed down his pants."
Following the seizure, officers reviewed earlier prison CCTV footage.
They identified a vehicle driven by a member of the public thought to be responsible for introducing the contraband into the prison.
The bag contained:
- Five mobile phones, all with SIM cards inside.
- Five phone chargers.
- Half a kilogram of a substance believed to be tobacco.
- Four boxes of cigarette papers.
- Five cigarette lighters.
- Balloons containing 4.9 grams of a substance believed to be methamphetamine.
With smart phones having an estimated prison price of between $3000 and $5000 each, the black-market value of all the goods seized may have been as much as $90,000.
South Coast Correctional Centre governor Mick Reid praised the officers for the find, making clear his team has zero tolerance for contraband.
"Phones, drugs and other contraband often spur violent altercations between offenders. That means they threaten the safety of everyone in the prison environment, be they staff or inmates," Mr Reid said.
Inmates found in possession of contraband may face prosecution. CSNSW may also withdraw privileges including television, radio and contact visits for up to 56 days.
Those found attempting to smuggle items into prisons from outside face a maximum penalty of two years' imprisonment.