When more than 500kg of marijuana disappeared from a police warehouse in Argentina, officers had an improbable explanation: it must have been eaten by mice.
Senior officers, it seems, were not convinced, and eight members of staff have now been fired in connection with the missing drug.
The cannabis had been in storage for more than two years at an impound warehouse in the city of Pilar, 35 miles north of Buenos Aires, reported news outlet Pilar de Todos.
But during an inspection of the facility in April 2017, it was discovered that, of 6,000kg registered there, only 5,460kg remained.
A former police commissioner, Javier Specia, was questioned about the missing narcotics, along with three other officers. After all four told a judge their mouse theory, Buenos Aires’ security minister Cristian Ritondo fired them and four others.
“Mice wouldn’t mistake the drug for food,” said a spokesperson for judge Adrián González Charvay. “And even if a large group of mice had eaten it, a lot of corpses would have been found in the warehouse.”
Forensic experts from the city’s university agreed that the explanation was implausible.
The four police officers are now accused of not properly protecting evidence and have been ordered to testify on 4 May. The hearing will seek to determine if the missing marijuana was the result of “expedience or negligence”.