India: Two held with whale vomit worth Rs77 million in Mumbai

Mumbai - They were caught trying to sell off the stuff to potential buyers.



By Web Report

Published: Fri 25 Jun 2021, 8:30 AM

The past few days have seen police in Mumbai and many other cities across coastal India seize ambergris, dubbed as ‘floating gold,’ from people who extract it from sperm whales and use it to make high-end perfumes and medicines.

The Mumbai police on Tuesday arrested two persons with 7 kg of the substance valued at Rs77 million. Acting on a tip-off, officers went to a place in Lower Parel in central Mumbai, where they found some men with reddish-brown substance in their car. Both the suspects were from Raigad, which is a coastal district south of the city. They were caught trying to sell off the stuff to potential buyers.

Both the suspects were from Raigad, which is a coastal district south of the city. They were caught trying to sell off the stuff to potential buyers.

According to the police, ambergris fetches Rs10 million a kg internationally, drawing in many illegal traders. Last week, the police had arrested three persons from Mulund in northeast Mumbai with Rs20 million worth of ambergris.

Ambergris is a fixative used by perfumers to ensure that the scent stays longer. In India, it is illegal to buy or sell ambergris under the Wildlife Protection Act. However, many coastal cities witness several cases of illegally extracting ambergris from the coast.

Earlier this week, half a dozen people were arrested in Tiruchendur in Tamil Nadu for trying to sell two kg of ambergris worth Rs20 million.

In Bangalore, four persons were caught selling Rs80 million worth of ambergris earlier this month. The police were tipped off that they were selling narcotics. However, it was found that they were dealing in ‘floating gold.’

Image: Twitter
Image: Twitter

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