| 16°C Dublin

'Joy prisoners hide drugs in their Y-fronts

IRELAND'S prisoners have developed a new fashion accessory to beat drug detectors.

They have manufactured an inner garment that gives both warmth and security -- for smuggling contraband.

It involves the stitching together of Y-fronts inside a pair of boxer shorts, resulting in a new ensemble which carries a secret compartment.

A designated area between the Y-fronts and boxers is then used for storage of contraband, which is difficult to detect. When sewn up properly the secret compartment is located in a very private location.

Sources at Mountjoy Prison -- where the underwear has been found in recent weeks -- say that even when the prisoner drops his briefs, the hidden stash is secure.

They are known in the institutions as "jail bags".

They have been used not only to bring drugs and other forbidden items into the jail but to conceal and secure a prisoner's private stash while inside.

A prison source said: " It is very hard to locate contraband hidden like this in a pat-down search procedure. But it just shows how ingenious these people are and the lengths to which they will go to in their efforts to beat the system."

In the past, prisoners have used a variety of methods to get drugs into the jails.

On hot days in summer, ice cubes containing drugs wrapped in tinfoil were thrown on to the nets over the recreation yard.

They melted and were ready for collection when prisoners went out into the exercise yard.

Drugs were also concealed in tomatoes, which birds pecked open, allowing the contraband to fall into the yard.

Prison officials earlier found that tennis balls were being volleyed into the yard with increasing frequency.

"There is no tennis club in the vicinity of the North Circular Rd or Glengarriff Parade," a source said.