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India police say rats ate 200kg of seized cannabis

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Police in India have blamed rats for destroying nearly 200kg (440lbs) of cannabis seized from pedlars and kept in police stations.

“Rats are tiny animals and they have no fear of the police. It’s difficult to protect the drug from them,” a court in Uttar Pradesh state has said.

The court had asked the police to produce the stash as evidence in cases of drug peddling.

The judge cited three cases in which marijuana was destroyed by rodents.

Judge Sanjay Chaudhary said in an order that when the court asked the police to produce the seized drug as evidence, it was told that 195kg of cannabis had been “destroyed” by rats.

In another case involving 386kg of the drug, the police filed a report saying “some” of the cannabis was “eaten up by the rats”.

Judge Chaudhary said some 700kg of marijuana seized by the police was lying in police stations in Mathura district and that “all of it was under danger of infestation by rats”.

He said the police had no expertise in dealing with the matter as the rats were “too small”. The only way to protect the seized goods from “such fearless mice”, he added, was to auction the drugs to research labs and medicine firms, with the proceeds going to the government.

MP Singh, a senior police official of Mathura district, told reporters that some of the marijuana stored in police stations under his vicinity had been “damaged due to heavy rains” and not destroyed by rats.

In 2018, eight Argentinian police officers were fired after they blamed mice for the disappearance of half a ton of cannabis from a police warehouse. But experts disputed the claim, saying that the animals were unlikely to confuse the drug for food and “if a large group of mice had eaten it, a lot of corpses would have been found in the warehouse”.

A study published in 2019 found that when laboratory rats were given cannabis-laced dough, they “tended to become less active and their body temperature also was lowered”.

In 2017, police in the eastern state of Bihar had blamed rats for consuming thousands of litres of confiscated alcohol, a year after the state banned the sale and consumption of alcohol.

In 2018, technicians who arrived to fix a malfunctioning cash machine in the state of Assam found that currency notes worth more than 1.2m rupees ($14,691; £12,143) had been shredded – and the suspected culprits were rats.

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Man arrested for defrauding money on promise to send people to France

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Seven people who tried to go to France through Azerbaijan and an owner of an employment agency in Kahathuduwa who spearheaded the smuggling were arrested, the Kahathuduwa Police said.

According to the police, this smuggling was uncovered during an investigation carried out based on a complaint made by a person from Wellawatte.

He has told the police that when he went to the airport based on a notice given by the owner of the employment agency at Pragathi Mawatha in Kahathuduwa, the airport officials turned him away saying that he did not have a visa in his name.

He had given Rs.800,000 to the agent.

It was further said in the complaint that although 6 other people went to the airport with him, they were also unable to go abroad.

Source: Lankadeepa

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Cold weather to continue

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The prevailing cold weather is expected to continue across the country, the Department of Meteorology said.

This is due to the wind currents blowing into the country as an impact of the cyclone Mandaus, which is active in Bay of Bengal.

Director General of the Meteorological Department, Athula Karunanayake said the wind speed in the sea areas around the country will remain high.

He also said the cyclone will move towards Tamil Nadu today (09).

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John Tarbet Championship postponed

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Sir John Tarbert Athletics Championship has been postponed due to the prevailing adverse weather, the School Athletic Association said.

The tournament was scheduled to be held on December 09, 10 and 11 at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium, Homagama.

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