In a bizarre incident, a cat detained on drug smuggling charges in Sri Lanka managed to escape prison. The unnamed cat was detained last week after it was found with two grams of heroin, two SIM cards and a memory chip hidden in a plastic wrap on its collar.
Sr Lanka police apprehended the cat from the high-security Welikada prison. As per police, the cat was trained to traffic drugs. It was also part of the same cartel that was caught using an eagle to smuggle drugs in Colombo. The cartel is associated with underworld drugs and crime lord Angoda Lokka, who died while hiding from police in July 2020.
The police were on lookout of suspicious activities after the prison had reported people throwing small packets of drugs, phones and chargers over the high-security walls. While there is no law to arrest animals, Sri Lanka police detained the cat with hopes that it could lead them to the smugglers' den. But despite the 'tight security', the cat managed to escape from its holding room on Sunday, July 2 through prison fence as guards approached to feed it.
The island nation is battling a drug problem in recent times. A few anti-narcotics police officers have also been arrested for selling seized drugs.
Using animals for drug trafficking, spying and espionage is not new though. From ancient times, animals have been used in such acts. But in recent times with sophisticated technology, using animals has become rare.
Last year, a cat was caught in a Russian prison for smuggling drugs. It was a repeat of a similar incident that happened in 2010 at the Tatarstan prison colony. The cat was caught with hashish in its collar.
In another incident in Brazil, a cat helped inmates escape prison. In 2013, police apprehended the cat at a medium-security prison in Arapiraca when they found it with saw, drills, earphones, memory card, batteries and a phone charger wrapped with a tape to the body. The cat was being used by the gang members outside of prison to aid the inmates in the jailbreak.
In Kashmir, India, a pigeon was arrested for spying in 2015. Police found the bird's body stamped with messages and a Pakistani phone number in Urdu. Police suspected that it was being used to carry messages across the border. The police even ordered X-Rays but found nothing but the bird has been kept in a cage since.