Crafty criminals are reportedly bypassing traditional means of running their nefarious bad guy operations from the confines of prison, turning to video game consoles to deliver orders to the outside world.

So says the UK's Serious Organized Crime Agency, which pegs generation non-specific "PlayStations" as the newest tool used by crime committing types to do their dirty deeds. How? By way of video game chat rooms. I was hoping for corpse teabagging in Morse code, but it doesn't appear to be quite that clever.


"People are using PlayStations to charge their mobile phones and are playing games interactively with others so are able to communicate with them," says Bill Hughes, director general of SOCA. "The Prison Service is concerned that prisoners are using interactive games to talk to people outside the prison."

That "concern" might be dispelled by the Prison Service itself. Reps tell the Times Online that this sort of communication isn't possible, at least under their rules.

"Prisoners have never been allowed access to wireless enabled technology such as that used in some games consoles," Prison Service reps say. "Nor would they ever be allowed access to such technology."


That means an outright ban on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nitnendo DS, three platforms named specifically by the prison system. Prison reps also note that no PlayStation 2 consoles with modems are available to inmates, limiting chances that drug smuggling operations are being run via Final Fantasy XI.

SOCA says it's a problem. Prison officials say it's not. Who to believe? The crime fighters or the criminals?!

Crime lords 'running empires from jail using PlayStations' [Times Online]