Police in India have claimed rats ate almost 600kg of cannabis after a court demanded the confiscated material be produced as evidence during a trial for people facing drug smuggling charges.
Police in Mathura in the nation’s northern region told magistrates 581kg of the drugs had gone missing from two storeroom.
The confiscated haul had reportedly been sitting there for over four years, after six alleged drug smugglers were stopped on a motorway and had their drugs seized in two consignments in 2018 and 2019.
Public prosecutor Ranveer Singh claimed the drugs were eaten by rodents and “could not be produced”.
“There is no place in the police station where the stored goods can be saved from the rats. The remaining [cannabis] from the huge consignment was destroyed by officers,” the prosecutors told the court.
Prosecutors said rodent infestation was an impossible issue to deal with, with a similar case occurring in 2017 when officers claimed 45kg of marijuana was eaten by the cheeky pests.
Another similar incident earlier this year when police in neighbouring Bihar claimed rodents had drunk nearly one million litres of alcohol kept in storerooms.
“Being small in size, the rats have no fear of police, nor can the police officers be considered experts in solving the problem,” the prosecutors said.
The smugglers are currently on trial for drug trafficking, a process that can take years — or even decades — to complete under the Indian judicial system.