Wild boar in Tuscany have sniffed out and destroyed a stash of cocaine in a forest, leaving drug dealers £17,000 out of pocket.
The hidden haul of white powder was strewn across the Valdichiana valley after being dug up and partly devoured by the feral hogs.
The drug dealers were heard complaining about their discovery by police who were listening in on a telephone conversation.
The gang – who are made up of one Italian and three Albanians – had buried the class A drug in jars and were allegedly trafficking around two kilos of cocaine every month to the cities of Arezzo and Siena.
However, the jars were not enough to protect the cocaine from the curious snouts of the wild boar.
The wiretapped phone call lead to the detention of the men, with two jailed and two others placed under house arrest, according to Toscana Media News.
The gang were said to have been operating from September 2018 to March 2019 and charged £85 per gram for high purity cocaine, Il Tirreno reported.
A police investigation was sparked after a 21-year-old Albanian, allegedly a dealer, was murdered in May last year.
The drug dealers are not the only people concerned with the influx of wild boar in Italy, with farmers protesting in Rome earlier this month over the animals wreaking havoc on their land and causing fatal car accidents.
Two million boar are estimated to roam Italy, according to president of the farming association, Coldiretti Ettore Prandini.
He 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.”
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