The prison service made an announcement on its website, saying that the cat had been caught at the Number One prison camp in the remote Komi region in the country’s north.

The cat had two phones, a charger and some spare batteries strapped to it using duct-tape.

It reportedly also showed a photograph of the large black and white cat, being held by the scruff of its neck by a guard with the contraband still strapped to its fur. The photograph has, unfortunately, been subsequently deleted.

“They have foiled various attempts to smuggle banned objects into Prison Colony Number One before, but in the case of the cat, the prison colony is at a loss: nothing like this has happened in the prison’s history,” the regional prison service said.

Quite. I’ve heard of cat burglars before but never cat couriers.

Russian prisoners have been known to bribe guards at prison camps like the one at Komi to smuggle them contraband materials before, but now it seems they’re getting infinitely more creative.

It’s not even particularly clear how the cat, once it had made its way inside the prison complex, was supposed to deposit its loot.

Amazingly this is the second time this year, albeit on a completely different continent, that a cat has been used to try an aid prisoner capering in jail.

In January, a black and white cat was apprehended in a Brazilian jail with a phone, batteries, drill bits and tunneling equipment strapped to its body.