Police in India have claimed that rats ate nearly 600kg of cannabis after a court demanded that the seized material be produced as evidence during a trial against people accused of drug smuggling.
Police in Mathura in the northern region of the country told magistrates that 581 kg of the drugs had disappeared from two storage rooms.
The seized loot was reportedly there for more than four years, after six alleged drug smugglers were apprehended on a highway in 2018 and 2019 and their drugs seized in two shipments.
Prosecutor Ranveer Singh claimed the drugs were eaten by rodents and “couldn’t be produced”.
“There is no place in the police station where the stored goods can be saved from the rats. The remaining [cannabis] of the huge shipment was destroyed by agents,” the prosecutors told the court.
Prosecutors said rodent infestations were an impossible issue to deal with, with a similar case occurring in 2017 when officers claimed 45kg of marijuana had been eaten by the brutal vermin.
Another similar incident occurred earlier this year, when police in neighboring Bihar claimed rodents consumed nearly a million liters of alcohol in storerooms.
“Because they are small in size, the rats are not afraid of the police and the police officers cannot be considered experts in solving the problem,” the prosecutors said.
The smugglers are currently on trial for drug trafficking, a process that could take years or even decades under the Indian justice system.