A group of feral hogs, somehow managed to take down an entire drug operation in Tuscany, Italy after finding a stash of cocaine worth $22,000 hidden in a forest.
Police had wiretapped various members of the suspected ‘cartel’ and had been listening in on their calls when they heard something that sparked their interest.
The gang complained that the animals unearthed and broke into a sealed package of cocaine hidden in the Tuscan forest, before scattering the contents throughout woodland.
With this information, police were able to dismantle the entire operation. Four suspects – an Italian and three Albanians – were arrested on drug charges after the bust, which left two members in jail and two under house arrest, according to Italian newspaper Il Tirreno.
The gang first came onto the police’s radar during an investigation into the murder of a 21-year-old Albanian in May last year, with officials soon learning of a group allegedly smuggling drugs from Perugia to various provinces, including Siena and Arezzo.
Police said they estimate the suspects traded approximately two kilograms of cocaine every month, with the gang netting the equivalent of between $90 and $120 per gram. A profitable business, until the boars dug up and destroyed $22,000 worth in the forest.
Wild boar are found in increasing numbers across the Italian countryside, but it’s not just drug dealers who have been affected by them. Earlier this month, farmers in Rome called for action from the government, complaining the animals are to blame for incidents of land damage and road accidents, as per The Guardian.
Ettore Prandini, the president of farming association Coldiretti, said:
It is no longer just a question of compensation but a matter of personal safety and it must be resolved. Ministries and leaders of regions and municipalities must act in a concerted manner to draw up an extraordinary plan without administrative obstacles, otherwise the problem is destined to get worse.
Officials say the number of wild boar in Italy, approximately two million, have doubled since 2015 and are responsible for about 10,000 road accidents each year.