Four arrested for smuggling whale vomit
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Four arrested for smuggling whale vomit

February 27, 2023

Ambergris weighing 4.950 kg worth crores of rupees seized

Kollegal: Kollegal CID Forest Mobile Squad Police have arrested four persons who were smuggling ambergris (Whale vomit) and have seized 4.950 kg ambergris worth crores of rupees and a car used for the illegal transportation.

Those arrested are 48-year-old Shamsuddin Otion of Nadapura village, 55-year-old Taiseema Varchase alias Suja of Changaseri village and 41-year-old Saji Subhas of Kalluppillakere village, all in Kerala and 62-year-old Virupaksha of Tiptur taluk in  Tumakuru district.

Details: All the four accused, in a bid to sell ambergris, were proceeding in the car from Kerala to Bengaluru on Saturday and stopped the car for refreshments at a hotel near Kollegal Bus Stand. But the Kollegal CID Forest Mobile Squad sleuths, who had a tip off about ambergris smuggling, raided the spot, arrested the four accused.

Cases have been registered against the four accused under Wildlife Protection Act 2(32), 39(B)(D), 49, 50 and 51. Sub-Inspector Vijayaraj, Head Constables Ramachandra, Swamy, Takhiulla, Shankar, Basavaraju, M.G. Basavaraju and Prabhakar took part in the operation.

Ambergris is produced in the digestive system of sperm whales. It is a waxy, solid, combustible substance made in the whale’s intestines that is utilised in cosmetics and medications.

Ambergris, ambergrease or grey amber, is a solid, waxy, flammable substance of a dull grey or blackish colour produced in the digestive system of sperm whales. Freshly produced ambergris has a marine, fecal odour. It acquires a sweet, earthy scent as it ages, commonly likened to the fragrance of isopropyl alcohol without the vaporous chemical astringency.

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Ambergris has been highly valued by perfume makers as a fixative that allows the scent to endure much longer, although it has been mostly replaced by synthetic ambroxide. Since ancient times, ambergris has been used in fragrances and high-end perfumes, as well as in various traditional medicines, which is why it is sold at very high price. In India, sale or possession of ambergris is illegal under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

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