Casino, cafe found in maximum security prison

Casino, cafe found in maximum security prison

Public outrage was sparked over the state of the country’s penitentiaries on Wednesday after two makeshift casinos, a cafeteria serving espresso coffee and crepes, as well as a workshop making scores of improvised knives were discovered inside Athens’ maximum-security Korydallos Prison during an investigation in wings A, B and E that had been ordered by a prosecutor in the wake of a riot between Georgian and Afghan inmates on Tuesday.

“The look of the cells and the volume of finds was such that it appeared as if the inside of the prison had never been checked before,” a source that took part in yesterday’s investigation told Kathimerini.

However, a probe had also been conducted soon after similar riots erupted on June 9, with authorities seizing scores of weapons.

Given the confiscation of weapons earlier in the month, a spokesperson for the union representing prison guards suggested that the dozens of makeshift knives and blades that were seized on Wednesday must have been produced over the last two weeks alone.

According to sources, prison staff, guards and police who conducted yesterday’s probe in the presence of a prosecutor found two poker tables in the A and B wings, as well as poker chips and lighting that one would find in a proper casino.

The finds reportedly outraged the prosecutor, who ordered the immediate destruction of the two tables. The fully equipped cafeteria was found in the A wing.

In all three wings, A, B and E, which were reportedly under the control of the inmates, the investigation revealed knife-making tools and machinery.

Moreover, there are concerns that inmates may have also duplicated keys to the metal barriers separating the different wings of the prison.

The riots on Tuesday left an Afghan detainee and a prison guard with injuries, while underlining the tense climate at Attica’s high-security penitentiary.

“The incidents at Korydallos penitentiary demonstrate the tragic situation of the country’s prisons,” said a statement by the union representing prison staff, which bemoaned the fact that the prison, and wings B and E in particular, “came under the control of the inmates within a matter of minutes.”

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