Termites devour 10M rupees in Indian bank vault

Termites chewed through 10 million rupees in a bank vault at the State Bank of India in Arthur.

Police in India are investigating after termites apparently broke into a bank's strong room and munched their way through 10 million rupees ($222,000) of currency, Global Post reports.

Staff at the State Bank of India in Arthur, near the northern India city of Luck, were horrified when they opened the steel vault to discover the damage, blaming it on an insect infestation.

Reports said police have not ruled out foul play.

Acting bank manager J.P. Dived blamed the age of the building housing the strong room, saying it was riddled with termites.

"We have been trying our best to keep currency notes safe but the termite problem here is so enormous that it would be better to move the branch elsewhere," he told Daily News & Analysis.

Police spokesman Nanette Rama said termites had previous damaged bank furniture and documents before turning their attention to the strong room, where cash had been stored since January.

"It's a matter of investigation how termites attacked bundles of currency notes stacked in a steel chest," he told the Associated Press.

He said police had registered a case of negligence by bank officials over the destruction, the full value of which was not immediately known.

"The exact amount of damaged currency is still to be calculated, but it is estimated to be around [10 million rupees]," he said.