Indian officers claim rodents ate hundreds of kilograms of cannabis stored as evidence
Indian Police Service officials have pointed to “fearless mice” as being the culprits responsible for the disappearance of hundreds of kilograms of cannabis seized from drug dealers and stored as evidence in drug-peddling cases.
The unusual explanation came after a court in Uttar Pradesh state had asked law enforcement on Saturday to produce the confiscated marijuana for several ongoing drug cases dating back to 2018. Police reportedly responded by stating they couldn’t provide the full amount because rats had destroyed 195 kilograms of the cannabis in one case. The rodents, they said, had also eaten “some” of the evidence in another case involving 386 kilograms of the drug.
“Rats are tiny animals and they have no fear of the police,” law enforcement officials said, stating that “it’s difficult to protect the drug from them.” Mathura public prosecutor Ranveer Singh further explained that there is no place in the police station where the cannabis could be safe from rats.
Judge Sanjay Chaudhary conceded that police “did not have the expertise” to deal with such tiny rodents and noted that some 700 kilograms of marijuana seized by law enforcement is currently lying in police stations in the Mathura district and that all of it was in danger of infestation by rats. The judge went on to suggest that the only way to protect the cannabis from “such fearless mice” was to auction it off to drug research labs and medicine firms and send the proceeds to the government.
The court has now ordered the police to find a way to deal with the “rat menace” and produce evidence that the rodents did indeed destroy the 581 kilograms of marijuana, reportedly worth six million Indian rupees ($7,341).
A similar case occurred in 2018 in Argentina, when eight police officers were fired after they blamed mice for the disappearance of half a ton of cannabis from a police warehouse. Their claims were dismissed after forensic experts pointed out that it was unlikely that the animals would confuse the drug with food and that there would have been “a lot of corpses” found in the warehouse if the mice did consume the marijuana.