Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/06/banana_cops/

Indian cops reach for bananas to flush out evidence

Good old honest bent yellow policing

By Joe Fay

Posted in Bootnotes, 6th August 2007 11:18 GMT

Indian coppers forced a suspected jewel thief to scoff over 40 bananas in a bid to force him to produce a necklace he had allegedly stolen.

When the bananas failed to do the trick, the plods, in the Eastern Indian city of Kolkata, moved onto a veritable smorgasbord of other purgative foods.

The resourceful plods performed the novel “softening up” technique on Sheikh Mohsin, 35, who was accused last week of stealing a 45,000-rupee (£546) necklace from a woman, then swallowing it when police and residents collared him.

Mohsin denied swallowing the baubles, but the coppers had him X-rayed at a hospital, which showed up the missing jewellery. The doctors advised the cops to stuff the alleged thief full of bananas, a natural laxative, and let nature take care of the rest.

Mohsin was put under 24 hour observation, but despite three bowel movements over night, plus some light vomiting, the necklace failed to appear.

Stronger measures obviously being required, the constabulary then stuffed him full of rice, chicken, and local breads. This seemed to do the trick, and the previously recalcitrant Mohsin soon opened up, and produced the missing loot.

This wasn’t the first time the Kolkata police have deployed the feared curvy yellow truncheon in their fight against crime. Another thief was subjected to the same treatment just a few months ago, apparently succumbing much more quickly than Mohsin.

The Kolkata plods could probably teach their Romanian counterparts a thing or two. A couple of years back the former Communist state was plagued by mobile phone thieves, who took to secreting their goods not just about, but inside their person. Rather than reaching for the bananas, the preferred method there is to just reach for the item in question, making policing a dirtier job than it really needs to be. ®