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  • Panama Human Rights

Prisoners coordinating outside crime jobs via WiFi

Updated: Nov 3, 2019

Here is a 100 per cent certainty: Prisoners in Panamá jails communicate with people outside to coordinate criminal activities, says National Prison System Director, Gabriel Pinzón.

He said on Tuesday, 11 November that there is a problem with prisoners using illicit WiFi to communicate with people outside. The prisoners’ devices circumvent the cell-phone blockers placed in the prisons.

In his view, the cell phone blockers are working, but better technology is needed to block the Wi-Fi coverage. He also said that an investigation has cleared all police officers who were investigated for allegedly smuggling cell phones into the prison.

In a 28 October search in La Joya Prison, authorities found 193 cell phones hidden in the walls and buried in the ground. According to Pinzón, this shows the creativity of the inmates and the high incidence of communications that occur from prisons to the outside.

The presence of firearms and drugs inside prisons is also a concern. He said gangs are competing for control of the facilities to organise their criminal activities.

He admitted that there are also problems of overcrowding and unsanitary conditions which need to be addressed.

The router below was not free—each user paid $5 per week for the privilege. The WiFi was recharged using phone cards stolen from the administration building.

Building 6 has an excellent WiFi signal thanks to the pop-up electrical repair shop which allows inmates to chat freely to call-girls via WhatsApp. Most prostitutes’ listings give out their WhatsApp numbers for potential clients.

The ABC's To a 3G Wireless Network Whilst in Prison

In Panamá when purchasing a Claro home wifi access point, shown above using a 3G phone chip you have to register the unit in-store giving your physical home address, many of these units ended up in building 6, once you had the unit all that was required was to purchase phone cards to add data.

ROUTER: For this router to work, a cell phone chip was inserted into a USB adapter and then attached into the side of the wireless router as shown above. This would then provide full WI-FI, these WI-FI units were mainly located in the attic space, being this gave the units extra signal. In the evenings the attic space was so lit up with flashing routers you would have thought you had landed at an international airport.

Inmate programming Police Commandos Cell Phone From Building 6 WI-FI Network, This Privilege To Have Free Open Access To WI-FI Would Cost $5 Per Week Per User, A WI-FI Router Could Earn an Inmate Up to $400 Per Week, The Commando, Solis, Below Was Provided Free Access At My Expense, To Prove Police Violated Their Own Code Of Conduct.

The video of the inmates cutting this fence then blowing up the phone blocker with gasoline would not have been possible 2 years prior, being most of La Joya was run by geese rather than police doing the job.

If geese had been on duty that day it would have not been possible to attack these blockers, besides geese being very good at security and raising the alarm when needed they also make a very dangerous adversary when going into combat.

Geese can make excellent "watchdogs" or guards. In fact, geese are used to guard businesses such as whiskey warehouses in Scotland and military facilities in Europe. Geese are loud and quick to respond when they hear the slightest questionable noise. Geese naturally understand, without any training, that any people and animals living on the property are part of their flock. They tend to have no fear of challenging a human or animal that intrudes on "their" property.

The prisoners will have WiFi! – Building 5 (Viewed) torching the cellphone signal blocker located between buildings 5 (Panamanians) & Building 6 (Internationals). The installation cost of these units came at a staggering $1M Dollars, you would have thought they would have been located in a secure location considering this is a prison?

The blocker was left to burn itself out as building 5 & 6 had no continuous or permanent water supply, fire extinguishers were nonexistent, fire trucks had no access as no roads led to the facility.

One just wonders how vigilant the security is at the La Joya facility! Considering visitors are stripped searched up both ends and prisoners regularly escape, for the inmates on the inside it is not an issue, all you do is corrupt one of the many police commandos and ask them to smuggle in two gallons of gasoline and a lighter.

The inmates who carried out this attack on the phone blockers were under orders from the major drug lords who needed a signal within the buildings, they were all financially compensated with a share sum of $15,000.00 so they are reliably informed, the only downside to their actions was by cutting the perimeter fence was a crime against public property that landed them an extra 5 years to their sentence.

Cops Will Remain In Prisons After Recent Riots

Security Minister Jose Raul Mulino said the police presence will remain in Panama's prisons, after inmates in pavilions 5 and 7 in La Joyita destroyed and burned the equipment used to block cellular telephone calls. Six of the antennas used to block cell phone traffic inside of the prison were damaged, and they had recently been installed. Mulino also announced they are working on a system that will be used to update a database of information about the inmates that has a cost of between $3 to $4 million dollars. (Panama America)

Many years later these blockers are still in disrepair and standing idol leaving prisoners the opportunity to carry out devastating contract killings. The President of Panama “Juan Carlos Varela” says “He knows contract killings are taking place inside the prison”, being this is the case Mr President why has it taken this administration so long to fix the problem, many civilian lives are placed in danger on a daily basis, who knows how many have died unnecessarily due to the lack of poor governance!

This government's standpoint is to look the other way in thinking this problem will go away, on daily basis news is breaking out of Panama on national TV showing multiple contract killings happening on a regular basis.

Is this is a prison! Even a hotel resort would have cameras that worked and would have picked up this vandalism, how can public property in a prison of all places with manned 24-hour police surveillance go totally unnoticed, still to this day this unit is in disrepair leaving the general public at grave risk.

If the police cannot protect a single telephone pole then what chance do prisoners have if they were attacked by another prisoner, or lay dying like Mark Bodden!

Regardless of all the cell phone blockers did work contract killing could still take place by using the public payphones as shown below with this police commando. The Panamanian authorities did not and do not record or have the ability or the infrastructure in place to intercept communications in or out of these buildings.

Now the phone blockers have gone, Really, Really!!! Does building six now have its own radio station as the signal has now come back on?

Whilst Mark Bodden lays dying at the end of my bed with no means for us to raise any type of an alarm, maybe we should have asked the police commando on the payphone if he could dial 911 for the emergency services and ask for an (Ambulancia), sadly ambulances do not call at La Joya, even if we had got in contact with the emergency services using the AT&T with the information posted within the phone booth it would have been in vain, plus the added fact that the police commando would have wanted his 25c before making the call.

"Use Of Cell Phone Blockers in Prisons Will Continue," says Panamanian Minister

Panamá - Despite recent riots in the La Joya and La Joyita prisons, the Minister of Government, Roxana Mendez, said the use of the cellular telephone signal blockers will continue. With regards to the recent reports of abuse by police, the minister explained that shotguns with rubber bullets are used to control the inmates, not normal bullets. Following the riot on 3 November in La Joya, Mendez said visitations by family members have been suspended. Mendez said there are about 70 public telephones inside of the prison for the inmates to use, however, the inmates prefer to use cellular phones, and they intentionally damage or destroy the public phones.

Panamá prosecutor investigates phone scammers working from inside the Panamanian Prisons

The Auxiliary Fiscal Office of the Republic has open investigations to locate the responsible network of scammers, who were operating from the Panamanian public prison.

They found in their cells the cell phones and chips related to the phone calls through which they managed to rip off several businessmen, and these detainees might be transferred to Panamá for a deeper investigation.

The Auxiliary Fiscal Office of the Republic raided the Public Prison in Panamá, as part of the investigation conducted regarding the members of a network dedicated to the massive fraud on businessmen and merchants in the country.

Marcelino Aguilar Aizpurúa, Assistant Prosecutor of the Republic, said the raid was conducted as a follow up of the ten investigations on the scams. They have been able to determine many of the phone calls coming from the Public Prison.

Aguilar said these scams have been going on for about two months, in which they talk about selling pieces of land, cars and other assets, using the names of some of the businessmen in the country. (TVN) 

Facebook was a survival lifeline at La Joya for the many, including the less fortunate that did not, and who could not understand the basic principles in making clean money for themselves, Facebook gave them a platform to be independent whilst giving an alternative way to make clean money using their own talents to survive rather than relying on fellow drug lords for minimal handouts being drug lords would have many of his mules also asking for help. Facebook was a key to opening new opportunities and possibilities, especially when placed into a situation where you need to earn quick cash, and fast, just to stay alive, many turned their hands to anything, including prostitution, selling drugs as well as snuff movies.

We at Panama Human Rights condemn Virgil’s actions but given his circumstance surroundings violations of his basic human rights being violated, we at Panama Human Rights give our blessing to this individual and wish him well.

This one individual “Virgil” ran his outfit from cell B18, he was a Jamaican and was blessed with a physique of a Greek god, complete with a 12 pack, and he was an amazing man to see when compared to my match stick slender figure.

Virgil’s ammunition was given to him by God enabling him to sell his fiscal profile through Facebook to hungry single women, he had a smooth-talking tongue and wooed many single women into sending Western Unions that arrived globally into building 6, for Virgil this was a business now, earning him up to $1,000 per week for just keeping fit and rubbing himself with baby oil, he had many, many women followers requesting videos and romantic stories that he sold for a fee.

For Virgil this was a safer method of earning money and far exceeded his expectations from his previous life of crime, trafficking drugs in and around the Caribbean,

La Joya turned out to be a blessing for many Facebook users who finally found there calling was just a phone call away, Virgil was released in July 2014 and now has a new life thanks to building 6 , Virgil  no longer sells drugs, but scams Facebook clients and make a handsome living thanks to his mentors.

We at Panama Human Rights documented and videoed multiple human right violations and in the process found some amazing stories along the way that were extracted from daily logs that were written, below are just a few of the hundreds of documents logging time dates and events that happened along the way.

COPS want to extradite a Brummie criminal mastermind from Panama, where he has been running an international drug ring by mobile phone from his prison cell. Officers from SOCA, the Government’s Serious Organised Crime Agency, are probing the role of 52-year-old Birmingham gangster Leo Francis Morgan in the plot. Morgan is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for drug offences in El La Joya prison – the hellhole which inspired the nightmarish Sona jail in the TV show Prison Break. From his cell, by the banks of the Panama Ship canal, he is said to be involved in a cocaine conspiracy which stretches all the way back to the UK.

Details of the gangster’s involvement only came to light when undercover SOCA officers smashed a conspiracy to flood Britain’s streets with drugs by notorious Liverpool villain George Moon. It was Moon, 62, who orchestrated the UK's end of the cocaine ring from his own prison cell at HMP Lindholme in Doncaster, using a mobile phone to contact Morgan in Panama. Together, they plotted to smuggle cocaine with a street value of £300,000 into the UK. Moon was sentenced to a further 18 years in prison at Liverpool Crown Court earlier this month for his part in the case.

Also jailed were Anthony Parry, 39, of Liverpool – said to be Moon’s right-hand man – Bilaal Khan, 27 of Bradford; Abid Hussain, 22, of Bradford; Lee Standeven, 24 of Widnes, and Harminder Singh, 25 of West Yorkshire. Now, investigators are turning their sights on Brummie Morgan. Details of his life are scant but inquiries by the Sunday Mercury have revealed a violent past of armed robbery and drug dealing across Britain.

Originally from Frankley, Birmingham, Morgan fell in with what one former undercover cop described as “the number one armed robbery gang in England” during the 1980s. Retired detective Ronnie Howard was part of a covert surveillance team which observed Morgan and the rest of his gang ‘casing’ a Harborne bank in 1986. They watched in secret as Morgan, alongside ringleader Hubert Lloyd Forbes, and henchmen Wesley Augustus Stewart, John Bullivant and Lionel Alfonso Webb, staked out a security van’s movements for three weeks. Cops pounced before the gang could strike and found a kilo of cocaine and a suitcase full of £13,000 worth of burned banknotes at Forbes’s palatial Edgbaston home.

But although Forbes was convicted on drugs offences, the rest of the gang was acquitted at a trial later that year, claiming that they were only meeting to discuss a drug deal. “Make no mistake,” said ex-cop Howard. “This lot was as savage as they came, and they would not have thought twice about shooting anyone who got in their way. “I know they were implicated in a number of jobs across the north of England back in the day but I only ever ran into them in this case. “But they were in the Premier League of their criminal world and lived a champagne lifestyle of fast cars and glamorous women.”

The gang split up soon after their acquittal – but did not prosper. John Bullivant was sent to prison for 25 years in the late 1980s for a botched armed robbery in Redditch, Worcestershire in which he shot at a policeman. Lionel Alfonso Webb became an estate agent in London but was murdered in 1989 when he was shot in the face by an unknown killer. The murder has never been solved but one theory is that it was a revenge attack for undercutting some rivals in overseas property transactions, although ex-cop Howard firmly believes a drug connection is more likely. “This gang was no different from a lot of other hardened criminals in the late 80s." “They realised it was safer and easier to make money in drugs then armed robbery, which was run by public schoolboys and hippies back then, so they easily took over that world."

“So for Leo Morgan to turn up running a drugs empire from his prison cell in Latin America is no surprise to me at all. He will be running that place with all the money I’m sure he’ll have.”

Swooped - According to sources in Panama Morgan fled the UK in 1992 to escape charges of importing cannabis and set him up on a farm in the countryside. But Morgan was soon back to his old ways. Panamanian police swooped on his farm and found 110 kilos of cocaine with a street value of half a million pounds. He was sentenced to 10 years in the country’s tough La Joya prison which was considered so dangerous in the 1980s that the famous 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army assaulted and secured it during the invasion of Panama in 1989.

A rambling, ramshackle assortment of barbed wired buildings and cramped, unhygienic conditions in which prisoners are crammed into rat-infested cells, it is considered a law unto itself by many in Panama. Tuberculosis, AIDS, and other diseases are common among the prison population. Gang tension is also rife and life is cheap, with money being the only guarantee of safety. Drugs are dealt with freely in full view of prison guards. The prison has housed some of South America’s most feared criminals and terrorists and its location close to the Panama Canal which means it is ideally situated for drug traffickers moving their product from Colombia by sea.

One ex-pat journalist who works in Panama City confided that La Joya is considered a “country club for hardened criminals”.

Incredibly, it was from here that Morgan would receive phone calls from George Moon on a smuggled mobile and then use his extensive contacts in the Latin American underworld to arrange the consignments. The parcels, made to look like engineering parts, were sent to Cork, Ireland, and then brought into Britain by fellow gang members. The plot was finally exposed in May 2008 when prison guards became suspicious and seized a notebook from Moon’s prison cell containing phone numbers and details about the gang, helping the police crack the case.

Career criminal masterminded £1 million cocaine smuggling ring from his cell

BBC News - George Moon was jailed for 18 years for smuggling cocaine. A convicted drug dealer from Liverpool who ran an international cocaine ring from his prison cell using a mobile phone has been jailed for 18 years. George Moon, 62, admitted importing cocaine using DHL and Royal Mail Parcel Force, Liverpool Crown Court heard. He used a contraband mobile phone at HMP Lindholme in Doncaster to contact Leo Morgan, from Birmingham, an inmate at La Joya Prison in Panamá. They plotted to smuggle cocaine with a street value of £300,000 into the UK. Moon, from Liverpool, was already serving a 14-year sentence for earlier importations of cocaine in 2003 when he contacted Morgan in South America. Judge Bryn Holloway said it "beggars belief" how Moon was able to access a mobile phone and two sim cards while in prison. He added: "The fact you were able to do that in an English prison raises questions over the levels of supervision and control over you.”You were able, while a prisoner, to access mobile phones. An even more extraordinary fact was the South America end of this conspiracy was being run by an Englishman who was, at the time, a prisoner in Panamá."

The court was told Morgan received prison calls from Moon on a smuggled mobile and then used contacts in Latin America to arrange the consignments. The parcels, made to look like engineering parts, were sent to Cork, Ireland, and then brought into the UK by fellow gang members. Packages were also sent to UK addresses linked to Moon's gang.

Moon then used a false name to pretend he wanted to rent storage space from a landlord in Ireland, whom he convinced to accept the drug deliveries for him. The plot was exposed in May 2008 when former soldier Lee Standeven, 24, of Clapgate Crescent, Widnes, posted him a parcel of heroin and mobile Sim cards. The court heard prison guards were suspicious when the envelope arrived with a Ministry of Justice emblem on it - but it was sent from Cheshire.

A sniffer dog indicated it contained drugs and the envelope was opened. A notebook, seized from Moon's prison cell, containing phone numbers and details about the gang, helped police crack the case. Standeven was jailed for five years after admitting supplying Moon heroin and contraband Sim cards. Four other accomplices were all jailed for between five and eight years for their involvement.

2014 The Panamanian government decided that most of La Joya was now totally lawless and out of control, the government decided instead to buy a multimillion-dollar military defence spy blocking mobile vehicle from Israel that was located just off the La Joya camps, sadly for the Panamanian government after spending all the taxpayers money found the blocker was so powerful it affected thousands of civilians who lived in the nearby surrounding neighbourhood. On one occasion a child died in a house fire the parents were unable to use their cell phones to raise the alarm when calling for the fire brigade after this tragic event happened a massive public outcry forced the government to shut down the program leaving more contract killing to thrive to this day.

Serious security breaches in this current administration 2018 still exist, we a Panama Human Rights have infiltrated the new $160 million dollar Mega La Joya to show how easy it is for contract killings to still continue despite the newly installed phone blockers.

Below is a conversation that took place via WhatsApp in January and February 2018 with a prisoner who is supposedly in one of the most secure prisons in Panamá.

Mega La Joya is classed as a jewel of the prison system in Panamá and a beacon of light and promotes itself as a robust and clean prison; Refer to our heading (Mega La Joya) to see the real scoop of what the government does not tell you, or wants to tell you!

Blackberry - Building 6, La Joya, WiFi - five-bar signal, 29 October 2013

No prisoners in La Joya are provided with a bed, inmates use this loophole to hide phones in their makeshift beds from discarded wood.

The phone seen above was never found despite many Police raids, the only thing that was taken many times was my phone charger as it did not fit in my bed's leg.

Security Minister Says "Wild Bill" Doesn't Have Internet Access Any More

Monday, February 04 2013 @ 06:27 PM EST

Panama's Public Security Minister, Jose Raul Mulino, said the issue of William Dathan Holbert, alias "Wild Bill", is not new, and the situation was overcome months ago.

According to Mulino, they learned a long time ago that "Wild Bill" had Internet access, but as soon as they found out about it the situation was rectified.

"Wild Bill" has a Facebook page which is updated regularly with pictures taken from inside of the prison. (Dia a Dia)

WhatsApp numbers for William Holbart AKA Wild Bill or now known as Brother Bill, 507-6964-8255 or 507-6146-8593.

Now William Holbert goes under the new name of Brother Bill. It may be his early ticket out of Panamá, especially if his religious organisation makes him a minister.

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