Cat used in Brazil prison contraband smuggling scheme

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SAO PAULO (AP) -- Guards thought there was something suspicious about a little white cat slipping through a prison gate in northeastern Brazil.

A prison official says that when they caught the animal, they found a cellphone and charger, memory card, drill bits, files, small saws, an ear phone and other contraband taped to its body.

Police said the contraband items could have been used by inmates to help them escape or to communicate with criminals outside the prison.

Alagoas state prisons spokeswoman Cinthya Moreno says that the cat was caught New Year's Eve at the medium-security prison in the city of Arapiraca.

The O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported Saturday that all of the prison's 263 inmates are suspects in the smuggling attempt, though it says a prison spokesman said "It will be hard to discover who is responsible since the cat does not speak."

The cat was taken to a local animal center.

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