Police in Thane district of Maharashtra have arrested three persons after ambergris, commonly called whale vomit or grey amber, worth more than Rs 85 lakh was recovered from them, an official said on Thursday.
The trio was nabbed on October 3 night by a team of forest department personnel while patrolling near a hotel at Mankoli in Bhiwandi taluka of the district, he said.
“During a routine patrol, the forest team spotted the trio around 11.30 pm. On being searched, they were found possessing ambergris worth Rs 85.45 lakh,” an official of Narpoli police station said.
The forest personnel seized the ambergris and lodged a complaint with the local police, who filed a case under sections of the Wild Life (Protection) Act against the accused and arrested them, he said.
The accused were identified as Umesh Rathod (23), Pawankumar Bharghav (34) and Swapnil Powar (24). Rathod hails from Jalna, while the other two accused are from Palghar district, the police said.
Ambergris, created by the bile duct of the sperm whale, is often called “floating gold” due to the immense price it fetches in the international market for its use in luxury perfumes.
The sperm whale is a protected species under Schedule 2 of the Wildlife Protection Act in India.
The police are trying to find out from where the trio had procured the ambergris and who they were trying to sell, the official said.
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