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A letter sent to a prisoner by parliament was found to have been contaminated with ecstasy and has subsequently prompted an investigation.
The letter had a House of Commons mark on it, and as soon as it arrived at HMP Coldingley in Surrey it was found to have been exposed to a notable amount of MDMA powder before it had reached its recipient.
An investigation has since been launched by jail directors after the letter failed a drug screening, having been tested by highly sophisticated equipment. The letter was subsequently banned from being passed on to the inmate at the Category C men’s prison.
The letter had been sent on March 22 by a junior official in the Palace of Westminster, The Sun reports, after an inmate at the prison requested information from the library of the Commons. The Common’s library contains parliamentary statistics and reports.
A prison source said the situation was ‘very odd’. However, they explained that ‘someone who has handled the letter somewhere along the line could have had enough on their hands for our scanners to pick up’.
Yesterday evening, September 12, prison managers confirmed a formal investigation had been launched as a result of the findings.
The Prison Service said:
Diligent security staff at HMP Coldingley stopped a suspicious letter reaching a prisoner. An investigation is under way.
The house of the UK parliament can be accessed by more 3,000 pass-holders and has its own post offices and mail service inside, due to how many letters MPs receive and send.
Authorities from the House of Commons did not provide comment.
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