Toy helicopter full of mobile phones fails to make prison drop

A remote-controlled helicopter that crashed near a prison in Ratchaburi was being used to smuggle mobile phones and phone parts worth millions of baht to inmates, police said yesterday.

Seven mobile phones, four satellite mobile phones, a number of SIM cards, eight mobile phone batteries and three mobile phone screens were found among the wreckage of the helicopter, Ratchaburi provincial police said.

The smuggled phones and parts were worth a total of Bt2 million (S$84,000) to Bt3 million, but could have fetched as much as Bt10 million on the prison's black market, police said.

Police said the wreckage of the remote-controlled chopper was found 500 metres from Khaobin Central Prison, but there was no sign of its operator.

The objects intended for smuggling were stored inside a shockproof box attached beneath the helicopter, they said.

Police said they received information that the chopper was supposed to drop the box into the prison's Zone 4 or 5, but had crashed before it could reach the prison.