However, a bug in the electronic payment system that is linked to the prison shop programme has meant that some inmates were able to get goods without paying for them. A few dozen prisoners were aware of the fault and used it to their advantage.
Kathleen Van De Vijver of the Prison Service told VRT News that the fraud was discovered around a month ago by the prison authorities at Beveren.
"They immediately suspected fraudulent misuse of the system and they reported this to the police”, Ms Van De Vijver explains.
The police has launched an investigation. The around 30 inmates involved in the fraud were summoned to the Governor’s office on Friday where disciplinary measures were taken against them. It is not clear how the prisoners discovered the bug in the payment system. It is likely that the prison shop was defrauded to the tune of tens of thousands of euro.