Thiruvananthapuram: For the first time in Kerala, the flying squad of vigilance wing of Kerala Forest Department has seized Ambergris, also known as whale vomit, weighing 19 kg and valued at more than Rs 30 crore in the international market at Chettuva of Thrissur district in the state.
The Flying Squad of the Vigilance wing seized the substance, also known as ‘floating gold’ from a three member gang during a raid on Friday afternoon. The trio were identified as Rafeeq, Faisal and Hamsa, sources told UNI.
The Flying Squad from Thrissur, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and the staff of Pattikkad Forest Range office have jointly conducted the raid, on a tip off, that Ambergris, a wax-like substance found in the digestive system of a few sperm whale, was selling in the black market.
Ambergris, which is sought by perfume manufacturers for its unique smell, is formed from a secretion of the bile duct in the intestines of the sperm whale, and can be found floating on the sea or washed up on coastlines.
It is sometimes found in the abdomens of dead sperm whales.
It may be noted that it is a punishable crime to hunt sperm whales under the Wildlife Protection Act in India as they are listed as an endangered species.
The three accused and their car have been handed over to the Pattikkad Range office of the forest department for further legal action.