Bengaluru Police on Tuesday arrested four people over illegal sale of extremely rare ambergris worth Rs 8 crore. The arrested individuals were identified as Syyed Sajmool Pasha, Rafi Ul-Shareef, Salim Pasha and Nasir Pasha, who have been booked under sections of The Wildlife (Protection) Act and Section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code.
The KG Halli police officers seized 6.7 kg ambergris, valued at Rs 8 crore. Its value is for its unique smell, which is used in the production of perfumes. Possession of ambergris is a punishable offence in India as sperm whales are listed as endangered species.
"A great catch! Kudos to the East Division @Kghallips and team for nabbing four persons seizing 6.7-Kg Ambergris (floating gold/whale vomit) worth ₹8 Cr. Ambergris is a solid waxy substance originating in the intestine of the sperm whale. It is highly prized as a fixative and ingredient in fine perfumes. The 4 accused are in custody and legal action has been taken under different sections of The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and u/S 420 of IPC," Commissioner of Bengaluru Police, Kamal Pant, lauded the efforts of the officers involved in the bust.
What is Ambergris?
Ambergris is described as a wax that originates in the intestinal secretion of the highly endangered Sperm Whale and is often found floating in the high seas. Often described as 'floating gold', it is used for manufacturing expensive perfumes, cosmetics, oils, and some use it for superstitious beliefs that it attracts wealth in a short time.
A controlled substance in India, Ambergris is in great demand in several countries, including the Middle East. Though it is occasionally found in nature, police do not rule out the possibility of some miscreants even killing a Sperm Whale to acquire it.
Found almost all over the world and living at depths of around 1,000 metres underwater, Sperm Whales are listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Switzerland.