Bengaluru police arrest four for sale of ambergris worth Rs 8 crore

Ambergris is a rare substance found in the endangered sperm whale, and is sought after by perfume manufacturers for its unique smell.
Commissioner of Bengaluru Police, KG Halli team interacted with the media
Commissioner of Bengaluru Police, KG Halli team interacted with the media
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On the evening of Tuesday, June 8, Bengaluru police arrested four people who were caught in the sale of ambergris worth Rs 8 crore. Ambergris, also known as ‘floating gold’, is a wax-like substance found in the digestive system of a few sperm whales. It is extremely valuable and rare, and is primarily used in the production of perfumes and musk products, due to its unique smell. 

The four people arrested—Syyed Sajmool Pasha, Rafi Ul-Shareef, Salim Pasha and Nasir Pasha—were booked under sections of The Wildlife (Protection) Act and Section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code. Police seized nearly 6.7 kg of ambergris, which is valued at around Rs 8 crore. The sale and possession of ambergris in India is a punishable offence under the Wildlife Protection Act as sperm whales are listed as an endangered species.

Speaking to TNM, KG Halli police inspector said that the four were nabbed near HVR Layout in Bengaluru while engaging in trade of the material. “We had initially received information about the trade of narcotic substances and were looking out for the accused. We have arrested both the sellers and buyers when the four were trading the substance on Tuesday evening. We were later told that the substance is ambergris,” he said. He added that all four accused were produced in court, and further investigation into the matter is underway.

“Sayyed Pasha and Rafi were selling the ambergris to Salim and Nasir. Sayyed and Rafi said that they received the material from a third party and we are investigating to find the source,” the inspector further added.

Commissioner of Bengaluru Police, Kamal Pant, tweeted about the incident. He wrote, “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.”

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