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SOCA: Cons' consoles causing crime

Banged-up bosses using games machines to run crime empires

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The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has alleged that prisoners are using games consoles to run their illegal empires. Its claim hasn't pleased Her Majesty's Prison Service.

Speaking at the launch of its annual report, SOCA Director General Bill Hughes said the Agency has obtained intelligence that indicates crime lords are operating multi-million pound empires from behind bars by giving out orders through internet games.

Hughes' alleged that some cons tap out coded words in game chat rooms - a feature that many popular titles support nowadays.

The organisation also claimed that prisoners recharge smuggled mobile phones using consoles' USB ports.

The Prison Service strongly rejected SOCA’s allegations. “Prisoners have never been allowed access to wireless enabled technology such as that used in some games consoles,” said a Prison Service spokesman.

The latest machines are banned because of their integral wireless capabilities, he told the Times.

Prisoners are allowed access to the internet, though – hopefully through a heavily monitored and restricted PC. ®

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