Colombia catches girl 'smuggling 74 mobiles into jail'

Map of Colombia The girl said she was visiting a relative at the Bellavista prison in Medellin

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Prison officials in Colombia say they have caught an 11-year-old girl trying to smuggle dozens of mobile phones and a gun into a jail.

The guards became suspicious when they saw what they described as irregular shapes underneath the girl's jumper.

When they investigated they found 74 mobile phones and a revolver taped to her back.

The girl said she had come to the prison in Medellin to visit a relative jailed for illegal gun possession.

She was accompanied by a 25-year-old woman who identified herself as the girl's sister.

Authorities at the Bellavista prison say the two had made it past one security control, where the woman's identity was checked.

Special privileges

Reports say the girl was trying to slip past the second checkpoint, where visitors are patted down and their bags searched.

It was there that security personnel spotted something on her back and carried out the search, which a guard told Caracol radio revealed "two Blackberries, 72 mobile phones of varying quality, and a .38-calibre gun".

The two are being held pending further investigation.

The news comes only days after Colombian media revealed that a former senator remanded in custody while awaiting trial for alleged links with a paramilitary group had held a lavish birthday party at La Picota jail in Bogota.

The former senator had earlier had his cell remodelled, breaking down a wall to double its space.

The revelations prompted the transfer of La Picota director Himelda Lopez.

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