Police in India said rats ate more than a million rupees of banknotes after crawling into an ATM cash machine in Tinsukia, Assam state in the country’s northeast on Thursday.
When the ATM belonging to the State Bank of India, which was reported out of order since May 20, was opened for maintenance on June 11, staff found bank notes amounting to ₹12.38 lakh completely destroyed. Officials suspect mice would have destroyed the notes since some dead rodents were found inside the ATM.
FIS Global Business Solutions, a private security firm, had deposited ₹500 and ₹2,000 notes amounting ₹29.48 lakh on May 19 in the ATM located at Laipuli area. The machine is said to have been out of service from the next day.
The SBI lodged a complaint at Hijuguri police station.
The rodent heist was only detected by bank officials after locals complained that the ATM was faulty and had stopped dispensing cash, police in Tinkusia district said.
“The bank officials came to check the ATM machine last week and found a dead rat and shredded banknotes when it was opened,” said district police superintendent Mugdhajyoti Dev Mahanta.
“We’ve checked and there is no other criminal or conspiracy to angle to the incident. It looks like the rats entered the machine through a small opening for some wires,” he said.
The rats munched through an estimated 1.2 million rupees (US$18,000) worth of hard currency, local media reported. Images showed an upended ATM filled with torn and shredded 500 and 2,000 rupee bills.
A local resident Nandan Pratim Sharma Bordoloi tweeted a video, believed to be from the same ATM. The video shows a dead rat laying in a pile of shredded notes.
“Really Size doesn’t matter!! What a rat this is! Rat-bitten bank notes worth Rs. 12 lakh 38 thousand. Torn notes and dead rat found inside ATM in Tinsukia Assam. Rat found dead before little one could bite remaining Rs. 17 lakh 10 thousand.” Nandan Pratim Sharma Bordoloi wrote.
Authorities from the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee published images of the bizarre bank machine invasion this week. The pictures show how scores of bank notes were shredded inside an ATM storage container.
“In a country where farmers are committing suicide due to loan burden & lack of monetary help, mice having #AccheDin chomped on cash of lakhs of rupees stashed inside ATM machine!” Assam Pradesh Congress wrote.