Insight & Analysis

Rats! Where has all the cash gone?

Stack of coins

Fiendish rodent plays ‘hide and squeak’ in an ATM.

ATM machines often stop working for one reason or another. However, in the town of Tinsukia in the northeastern state of Assam, India, one ATM stopped working for a rather odd reason.

No, it wasn’t another bout of demonetisation from the Modi government. It was because a rat had eluded the machine’s security camera and shredded almost US$18,000 worth of Indian rupee notes.

“The ATM was out of order for a few days and when our technicians opened the kiosk we were shocked to find shredded notes and a dead rat,” said Chandan Sharma, SBI branch manager. “We have started an investigation into this rare incident and will take measures to prevent a recurrence.”

Believe it or not, this isn’t the first case of an animal being accused of causing economic turmoil (although it is pretty clear that this was the doing of the rat). Earlier this year in Nigeria, a sales clerk said that a snake had eaten notes worth 36m naira (US$100,000). Also, in Nigeria, a senator defending a colleague accused of misappropriating funds suggested a gang of monkeys “carted away” US$194,600 from a farmhouse.

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