The group reportedly used laptops given to them by the Ministry of Justice to help them prepare for their legal cases.
A criminal gang ran a £30m drug smuggling operation from their cells using laptops given to them by the Ministry of Justice to help them prepare for legal cases, according to a report.
The group even paid more than £1m to persuade a freelance "fixer" to get himself convicted of fraud and sent to their prison so he could co-ordinate the operation to ship a tonne of heroin and ketamine to Britain, The Independent said.
The gang at Wandsworth Prison in southwest London used computers supplied by the authorities as part of a taxpayer-funded scheme to help them get ready for their cases, the report said.
The security features were disabled by another member of the gang, an east European hacker, using a coded memory stick that was smuggled into the jail by one of the plotter’s girlfriends, according to the newspaper.
The group used the laptops to communicate with overseas contacts to place the drugs on shipping containers of legitimate operators travelling from south Asia to Britain, the report added.
In response to the story, a Prison Service spokesman said: "Prisons are required to provide secure laptops to a minority of offenders facing trial so they can view legal material relating to their case.
"The computers do not enable prisoners to access any other part of the National Offender Management Service system and internet access is disabled.
"We will always take action against those attempting to break the rules and offenders face prosecution if they use equipment inappropriately."
It is understood that only those viewed to have legal material that is too complex or bulky to view on paper have access to the laptops and new, more secure computers are now being supplied to some prisoners.