A 53-year-old man who had come to sell 1.3 kg of ambergris -- or whale vomit -- worth Rs. 1.7 crore was arrested in Mumbai, police on Tuesday. Ambergris is a waxy substance that originates as a secretion in the intestines of the sperm whale, found floating in tropical seas and used in perfume manufacture.
Acting on a tip-off, a joint team of police and forest department officials laid a trap on Saturday in the Cama Lane of suburban Vidyavihar area and arrested Rahul Dupare, police said.
"We seized 1.3 kg of ambergris, worth Rs. 1.7 crore, from him. It is a prohibited item. We have registered a case under relevant sections of the Wildlife Protection Act and have arrested Dupare," a police official said.
The sperm whale is an endangered species protected under the Wildlife Act.
Ambergris is soluble in alcohol, chloroform, ether and certain volatile and fixed oils.
Earlier on April 09, 2019 , I-T department has recovered hides and skins of endangered species such as Black buck, Sambar deer, Chital (spotted dear) and others, to add to the massive unaccounted cash trail information that was unearthed.
Republic TV has accessed visuals of the I-T department's animal-hide seizures as well as illegal weapons while raiding the residence of Ashwin Sharma, an associate of Praveen Kakkar (OSD to Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath) in Bhopal.
Following the development, a team from the Forest department has been called to take cognizance of the event. Sources said that the team from the forest department will investigate the matter to find out if he has bought these items from elsewhere or is it a poaching racket.