Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.
A cat that was detained at Sri Lanka’s main prison for allegedly attempting to smuggle drugs has managed to escape from its jail cell.
According to reports from the local media, on Saturday 1 August 2020, the felonious feline was detected by jail intelligence officials at the high-security Welikada Prison, where it was caught with two grams of heroin, two SIM cards and a memory chip all packaged in a small plastic bag that it was carrying around its neck.
The cat was being held at a room in the prison, however, the very next day, the moggie mastermind somehow managed to escape.
It is not known how the kitty made its escape, nor were prison officials able to comment on the matter.
However, the prison did reveal that prior to the incident, numerous parcels had been hurled over the Welikada Prison walls, although were seized.
A total of 18 parcels were intercepted, from which 38 mobile phones, 264 batteries, 20 sim cards, and 3.5 grams of heroin were apprehended.
Fifteen people were arrested in relation to the parcels, which comes at a time when the country is battling a significant drug problem.
It remains unclear as to whether any additional cats were detained in relation to the incidents.
Not the First Time Cat Has Escaped Prison
It may come as a surprise to learn that this is not, in fact, the first time a cat has found itself in trouble with the law for escaping custody.
In November 2019, a cat that was being held in a Russian penal colony in the city of Tula as it was being used as evidence for a trial managed to escape custody, which was a special cat cage on the grounds.
It is understood a prisoner, identified as Eduard Dolgintsev, used the cat as a mule for drugs and so prosecutors decided to use the animal as evidence in court.
The prosecutors left the animal to be looked after while they waited for the trial to commence, however, it wasn’t until lawyer Dmitriy Sotnikov went to visit the feline that they realised it had escaped.
Somehow, the furry evidence had managed to break out of his cell, leaving those relying on its court appearance in a hairy situation.
Indeed, prosecutors might have misjudged the feline’s criminal characteristics, given it managed not only to escape custody over its drug-smuggling ordeal, but also got away with the crime.
Meanwhile, prosecutors were also left with the issue of what to present in court.
Rather than taking the moral route and admitting they lost the cat, they instead attempted to replace it with a different cat.
The problem was, the feline imposter looking nothing like the original cat and when the trial resumed, the defence lawyer was quick to catch on.
In court, he drew attention to the fact that the cat being presented was a different colour to the one that had been accused of smuggling.
“The original cat had all white paws. We see here a cat that has its front left paw striped. The nose is also different – the original cat had a white nose, this one has a striped nose as well as the paws,” the defence lawyer said.
Indeed, one would surmise that if you were going to attempt to fleece an entire courtroom with the help of a cat, you would at least find one that looking even somewhat similar to the suspect.
It was quickly discerned that a cat-swap had taken place and so the trail had to be suspended while the prosecutors found other evidence.
As far as it is known, the drug-smuggling kitty remains on the run.
So, we know the law doesn’t apply to cats.
But, it does apply to the rest of us, so here’s what you should know about escaping lawful custody.
If you’re in NSW, as set out in section 310D of the Crimes Act 1900, it is an offence to escape (or merely attempt to escape) lawful custody.
The maximum penalty you can receive if you are caught is 10 years in jail.
Good character letters for court are generally only relevant in sentencing proceedings where a person facing a criminal charge is going to be sentenced in court.