In Gujarat’s Anand District, the Special Operation Group (SOG) has caught six people with Whale Vomit (Ambergris) worth ₹74 lakhs. All the peddlers are currently under the custody of Anand SOG, and the department has taken legal action against them.
On May 19, GN Parmar, Police Inspector SOG, PSI HM Rana, and other cops were following the instructions of the Anand Superintendent of Police. The Anand SP had ordered the SOG team for night patrolling the town. Later, PO Sandeep Kumar and PCO Bhaggidh Singh got information regarding a Gray Swift Dzire carrying and selling valuable items like Whale Vomit.
The peddlers parked the car on 80 feet road in Anand. After receiving the lead, the Anand SOG team rushed to the spot in their police jeeps. They found a Gray Swift Dzire with the number plate GJ 06 JM 0505. Later during the investigation, the police found chunks of ambergris on the car’s back seat. The SOG team then arrested the men with the vehicle involved in ambergris smuggling.
The Anand Special Operation Group has arrested the smugglers under Section 41(1) D of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CRPC). PSI Hardip Singh Rana told Team VOI, “We haven’t found the original place from where the peddlers got the ambergris. However, we are still investigating the case. May and June is the time when such incidents come up. It is valuable and in demand because of its use in manufacturing long-lasting deodorants.”
The accused arrested in the case are Girir Chadhan Ulal Gandhi, Dhikram Virendrabhai Patdiya, Meet Yirbhai Gandhi, Meet Nilkamal Hayas, and Dhrdhul Kumar Patel. They are residents of Vadodara and Anand. In the initial probe, the police have confiscated ambergris worth ₹73,60,000, a mobile number worth ₹16,000, Swift Dzire worth ₹2,50,000, and other precious items worth ₹76,26,000.
Ambergris: Whale Vomit
Ambergris, also known as floating gold, translates to grey amber in French. It is a waxy substance produced by sperm whales through their digestive system with a faecal odour. The texture of this marine product varies from light yellow when fresh to reddish-brown and sometimes greyish-black.
The worth of ambergris lies in its benefits. Investigating departments across India usually tend to seize whale vomit during the summer season. However, it is noteworthy that the per kilogram cost of this substance is around INR one crore, depending on the quality.
Many countries like the USA and Australia have banned the import-export of this commodity. Even in India, it is illegal to trade ambergris. Sperm Whales are a protected species under Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act. Moreover, under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, the possession or trade of any by-products of sperm whales, including ambergris, is illegal. The smugglers follow the pattern of collecting ambergris from the coastal areas and trading it to countries with lesser or no restrictions.
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