Shameless: Ariolt Kuka with his phone in his cell in HMP Highpoint South in Suffolk
Crime lords are making a mockery of the Government’s £100 million crackdown on phones in jail – by brazenly broadcasting parties taking place in their cells.
Others are openly contacting associates on the outside, despite assurances from ministers that new curbs on handsets are working.
A Daily Mail investigation identified at least seven inmates using mobiles and updating social media in the past month.
They include a drug baron serving 12 years for running a multi-million pound cocaine and cannabis ring.
He uses an illicit phone at HMP Highpoint South in Suffolk to host hour-long Facebook live videos watched by up to 70,000 people.
In one entitled ‘cell on fire’ broadcast last week, he filmed himself and fellow inmates – who all clutch their own phones – rapping, dancing and laughing, and boasted to his followers: ‘Every Saturday we have a party like this.’
One crook serving nine years for his part in a notorious drugs gang admitted to an undercover reporter who made contact on social media that it cost £1,500 to get a phone in jail and that associates on the outside kept the credit topped up.
Another gangster in the Category C jail has used his phone to contact another suspected criminal through social media.
Slap-up meal: Resul Rahova with plates of junk food in a picture posted on Facebook with the caption: ‘Happy Eid to all of you’
And a dangerous gang boss jailed for six years for driving his car at police while fleeing a £1 million drugs bust posted pictures of himself enjoying a slap-up meal to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid.
Some obtain phones within weeks of being jailed, our investigation found.
It comes after Boris Johnson announced a £100 million crackdown intended to detect and block the ‘scourge’ of mobile phones and drugs that fuel crime and disorder in jails.
Prisons minister Lucy Frazer MP said last week that the problem of mobiles had ‘improved’ because of the tougher stance being taken.
But the Mail has seen dozens of pictures and videos posted by notorious criminals using illicit phones in jail, many posted since the Government announcement.
Some prisoners use them to post footage of themselves watching football on TV and film themselves speaking to relatives and friends.
After we revealed our findings to the Ministry of Justice, the social media accounts used by the seven inmates were closed.
Drug dealer Ariolt Kuka (right) poses with his cellmate. The inmate boasted to his followers: ‘Every Saturday we have a party like this’
The phones were confiscated and the inmates are facing punishments expected to include extra time behind bars.
Many brazenly posted on an Albanian Facebook group called The Best, which has more than 70,000 followers.
Cocaine dealer Ndricim Musaj was jailed for nine years in August 2016 after officers seized a machine gun and drugs with a street value of £6.4 million following a dramatic operation in which a getaway car smashed into a shop.
But last month he posted a picture of himself on his Facebook page sitting on a bench in Highpoint South’s prison garden with the caption ‘feeling good’ along with a smiley face emoji.
He told an undercover reporter who made contact with him on Facebook that he was ‘in prison’ and even proudly sent a link to a news report about his drugs conviction.
Asked how much it cost to get a phone into jail, he said: ‘1,500 sterling. This is how things are going where I am… [When we run out of credit] we top it up from outside.’
Another prisoner posting videos on the ‘Best’ Facebook group openly discussed the choice of phone with followers. He said: ‘I have used Samsung and iPhone but I think Sony is the best.’
A Prison Service spokesman said: ‘This behaviour will never be tolerated and those involved will be punished. The Government is determined to rebuild trust in the justice system.’
Facebook said: ‘When we are notified of active accounts being used from prison, we comply with legal orders to ban access.’
Happy snaps from inside
The cocaine dealer posted a picture of himself in his cell on Facebook on August 11 surrounded by plates of food and cans of Pepsi.
Referring to the Muslim festival he was celebrating, he wrote: Happy Eid to all of you.’ Asked by a follower: ‘Did you get out?’ he replied: ‘Not yet.’
Rahova was jailed for six years in October 2016 after police spotted an accomplice removing cocaine worth £1million from his car. As he fled, Rahova sped towards a group of officers on the pavement who had to dive out of the way.
The Albanian drug baron, serving 12 years for running a cocaine and cannabis ring, posts live footage on Facebook of raucous parties in his cell watched by up to 70,000 people.
Kuka, who entered the UK on the back of a lorry and tried to claim asylum, hosted an hour-long video on August 17 from HMP Highpoint South in Suffolk entitled ‘cell on fire’.
He was joined by fellow inmates as they danced and rapped along to songs playing on their TV. At one point, Kuka tells followers: ‘Hey people, we are the same inside like outside. Each Saturday we have a party like this.’