(TMU) – A feline drug-trafficker that was being incarcerated at a major prison in Sri Lanka after being discovered carrying drugs and mobile phone SIM cards has managed to break free, according to local media reports.
While the story may seem strange at first glance, it certainly isn’t the first time animals have been used to do the dirty bidding of the criminal underworld.
The cat was caught in the act by intelligence officials at the maximum security Welikada Prison in Colombo, according to police. The prison is the largest in Sri Lanka and was built during the British colonial period, and has the reputation of being hellishly overcrowded and violent.
Upon inspecting the mischievous would-be mule, officials managed to find a small plastic bag attached to the cat’s neck that contained almost two grams of heroin, two SIM cards and a memory chip, according to AFP.
By Sunday, however, the cat managed to vanish from the prison cell where it was being held, according to the local Aruna newspaper.
The incident comes amid a rise in attempts by prisoners to throw small packets containing drugs, cell phones, and phone chargers over the walls of the 19th-century dungeon.
While the South Asian country has no laws stipulating the arrest of non-human perpetrators, authorities had hoped that the cat could be of some assistance in helping them locate the source of the illicit contraband.
However, the cat made its quick escape when prison guards entered its holding chamber to feed the little perpetrator.
Daily Beast reports that the cat is believed to be tied to the same notorious drug cartel that was recently caught red-handed in an attempt to smuggle drugs using an eagle in a nearby Colombo suburb. The group of traffickers were tied to notorious Sri Lankan gangster kingpin Maddumage Lasantha Chandana Perera, known by his alias Angoda Lokka
Lokka’s recent death was confirmed Sunday after authorities announced that three people were arrested for illegally cremating the crime boss and forging identity documents, reports Newsfirst. One of the perpetrators was a Sri Lankan woman who lived with Lokka. The three accomplices allegedly brought Lokka to a hospital while in an unconscious state and presented the dying gangster along with a forged identity card under the name Pradeep Singh.
Just last week, police raided a farm run by one of Lokka’s criminal associates and found an air-rifle, ammunition, and the eagle that had previously been caught delivering drugs.
Authorities in Sri Lanka have been struggling to contain a major problem of drug trafficking with little success, as even anti-narcotics officers have resorted to selling the drugs they confiscate from criminal suspects.
The South Asian nation’s government has considered various means to “fully eradicate drug trafficking in the country,” ranging from deployment of anti-drug death squads similar to those ordered by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to the reinstatement of the death penalty. The government recently announced the creation of a military-led task force that would help usher in “a virtuous, disciplined and lawful society.”
However, authorities have confirmed that they have no plan to hold the lost cat to account.