Indian police claimed that rats “ate” over 1,100 pounds of marijuana after a court demanded that the confiscated drugs be produced as evidence for a smuggling-related trial.
Mathura police submitted a report to a special Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (1985) court stating that 581 kilograms (1,280 pounds) of marijuana that had been seized from traffickers by the Shergarh and Highway police stations in two different cases four years ago had gone missing from two storerooms, National News reported.
Public prosecutor Ranveer Singh claimed that the consignments 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.
In its clarification to the court, Mathura police said, “Being small in size, rats have no fear of the police. SHOs cannot be experts in solving every problem.”
Police arrested six alleged smugglers on a motorway and seized the drugs in two consignments in 2018 and 2019. The smugglers are now on trial for drug trafficking charges and other narcotics laws.
A district judge ordered senior superintendent of Mathura police Abhishek Yadav to get rid of the “mice menace” and provide evidence, to be presented at the next hearing scheduled for Saturday, that rats actually ate the 581 kilograms of marijuana worth Rs 60 lakh ($73,000), The Times of India reported.
The court also issued five-point directions for the auction and disposal of weed stored in police warehouses.
“Time-bound action will be taken in compliance with the court orders,” said acting senior superintendent of police for Mathura, Martand P. Singh, according to the Times of India.
The prosecution told the court that almost 700 kilograms (1,540 pounds) of cannabis stored across several police stations in the district were under threat from rats.
A similar incident happened in 2021 when police at Etah district’s Kotwali Dehat reported that rodents consumed over 1,400 cartons of seized liquor worth over Rs 35 lakh ($43,000).
Meanwhile, in 2017, a prosecutor in eastern Jharkhand state told a court that rats had consumed about 45 kilograms (100 pounds) of marijuana after they arrested a smuggler trafficking nearly 150 kilograms (330 pounds) of drugs.