By Thomas Escritt
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A gang of suspected drug-dealers in Amsterdam gave the task of guarding their loot to unusually ferocious guards: a pair of fully-grown crocodiles.
Police investigating the gang made the unexpected discovery this week, when they arrested 11 suspects, men and women aged between 25 and 55. They also seized 300,000 euros -- the bulk of it locked in a cage with the toothy reptiles.
"It's very unusual for drug dealers to use crocodiles to guard their money," said police spokesman Frans Zuiderhoek on Friday.
"I think they thought it was safer."
The suspects, including the owner of the crocodiles, are due to appear before a judge on Friday. Police also seized large quantities of synthetic drugs, firearms and half a million euros' worth of crystal meth in the haul.
The suspected dealers were delivering drugs to several hundred addresses, including to neighboring Belgium, police said.
The crocodiles, for which the owner had a license, were still in their cage and a friend of the owner was taking care of them, police said.
(editing by Katharine Houreld)