The Bengaluru City Crime Branch police have arrested five persons who were allegedly trying to smuggle Ambergris (Sperm Whale Vomit) along with two antique pieces. Among the two pieces, one is a 203-year-old antique Steam Fan which was made in 1818 by the British East India Company.
The accused were identified as Majeeb Pasha (48), Mohammed Munna (45), Gulab Chand (40) and Santosh (31), all residents of Bengaluru and the fifth accused Jagannatachar (52) is from Raichur district.
The police seized ambergris worth Rs 80 crore weighing 80 kg. The police also recovered two mercury copper items and that is also belonging the British East India Company.
The Sperm Whale Vomit is banned in India under Wildlife Protection Act. It is illegal to possess, trade or sell any of its by-products. Ambergris is generally known as the treasure of the sea and is produced inside the abdomen of sperm whales. It is a brown and solid waxy substance. There is a huge demand for Ambergris in European and Gulf countries.
According to police, only lucky fishermen get it accidentally while fishing in the deep sea. “There are many who smuggle it and mint money by illegal means. But it is strictly prohibited and banned under the Wildlife Protection Act. Whales come under schedule 2 of the Wildlife Protect Act. We have received a tip-off and raided RMK Enterprise in Bagalagunte police limits and nabbed the accused persons,” police said.
According to police, even the steam fan is also a priced antique. “You don’t find such antiques and in the black market, it is sold at a huge rate, not less than a crore we believe. The rich businessmen who have the hobby of collecting antique bid for such antiques in dark markets and buy it for huge money,” police said.
A few months back, the Mysore Forest Department officials have arrested four persons who were trying to sell 8 kg of ambergris.
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