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Manawatū Prison drug smuggling castled by detector dogs

A four-legged detection grandmaster thwarted an audacious drug-smuggling attempt (file photo).

A four-legged grandmaster of drug detection has foiled an attempt to smuggle drugs into a prison.

Corrections staff and a detector dog on Wednesday found a package of chess pieces sent to Manawatū Prison, near Palmerston North, was packed with cannabis leaf and oil.

Manawatū Prison director Mark Cookson said 12.53 grams of cannabis leaf and 12.25g of oil were uncovered.

"Today's drug find was great work by staff and the detector dog, who found the drugs before they got into the hands of prisoners," he said.

"Prisoner mail and incoming property are regularly searched. The detector dog gave a clear indication on this particular item.

"When it was opened, it became clear that the chess pieces had been tampered with."

Cookson said drugs could make prisons dangerous places and distract inmates from rehabilitation.

At New Zealand prisons, 24 detector dog teams, X-rays and other monitoring ensure prison officials aren't helpless pawns in the process.

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