Jailed drug lords in the Philippines have been "living like kings" in secret luxury prison cells with strip bars and sex dolls, the country's justice secretary said.
Police made this stunning discovery when they raided Philippines’ biggest jail on Monday.
Police commandos in full battle armour and tracker dogs swooped down on the infamously crowded and corrupt Bilibid prison complex before dawn to verify reports that drug rings were operated from behind bars.
Police also found 1.4 million pesos (S$41,000) in cash, a jacuzzi and methamphetamines (also know as Ice) across 20 air-conditioned “villas", Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said.
"They are here to serve jail time but instead, they’re living like kings," she said.
She added that jail officials who conspired with the inmates face "outright dismissal".
Not your typical prison cell
A room in one of the villas had a fully-inflated sex doll sprawled on the bed. An adjacent room was equipped with an elevated platform, strobe lights and a mirror ball, police said.
Police said the platform was for strippers who were smuggled into the jail compound. A bright blue bra with feathers was hanging beside the stage.
Another area had a small concert stage equipped with a flat screen television, a drum set, guitars and keyboards.
A safe in one of the rooms contained Rolex and Patek Philippe watches, Louis Vuitton wallets and stacks of dollar bills, police said.
Bathroom floors and walls were covered in marble tiles, showers with hot water were encased in glass and a bathtub had a flat screen television attached to it.
One room was stocked with expensive whisky.
Not the first incident
Bilibid, on the outskirts of Manila, was built for 8,900 inmates, but currently houses 23,000.
The luxury villas, for drugs lords, gang leaders and other powerful inmates, were scattered around the sprawling 500ha compound
Cases of rich inmates bribing prison authorities and building small houses, or simply leaving the jail, have emerged repeatedly over the years.
The practice highlights corruption in government and the wide divide between rich and poor as the rest of the prisoners, mostly petty criminals, are crammed in squalid cells.