Two held with whale vomit worth ₹2 crore

The Mumbai Crime Branch Unit I on Sunday arrested two men who were found to be in possession of 7 kg of whale vomit worth around ₹2 crore. Rizwan Fadnis, a welder, and Rajesh Surve, a travel agent, both 33-year-old residents of Ratnagiri, were nabbed near a bus depot outside Vashi railway station.

According to the police, they had received a tip-off about two men coming from Ratnagiri to sell the whale vomit, also called ambergris. A team comprising assistant police inspectors Rahul Rakh and Rupesh Naik then laid a trap and intercepted the duo. On searching both of them, the police found two chunks of Ambergris in Mr. Fadnis’s bag.

“The accused tried to sell the whale vomit by claiming that its consumption helps increase the libido. Ambergris is mainly used in perfumes and cosmetics and fetches a handsome price based on its age. It has an unpleasant smell soon after it is secreted, and as it ages, starts producing a sweet smell,” an officer said.

Endangered species

Ambergris is a waxy solid substance, secreted by sperm whales, an endangered species protected under the Wildlife act. These whales prey mostly on squids and the undigested portions are eliminated through their vomit.

“In their interrogation, the accused revealed that they found the product from a beach at Goa. We are verifying the same. In black market, Ambergris is usually sold for ₹2 crore per kg the officer said. The duo were arrested under Wildlife Protection Act and have been remanded in police custody till Wednesday.

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Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 5:14:44 AM |

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