Kochi: The forest department has recovered ambergris worth about Rs 30 crore from Chettuwa in Thrissur district of Kerala, commonly known as 'whale vomit.' Three accused have also been arrested in the case. According to forest officials, this is the first time that a gang selling ambergris has been caught in the province. The gang of three members has been nabbed following an operation by the Kerala forest flying squad and wildlife crime control bureau.
The three accused have been identified as Rafique and Faisal, originally from Thrissur, and Hamsa of Ernakulam. The forest department had received input that a group was selling ambergris in Kerala, after which some forest officials contacted the suspects, such as they wanted to buy ambergris, and then arrested them. The seized ambergris weighs about 19 kg and is priced too high in the international market. State that hunting a whale that produces amber grease is a punishable offense under the Wildlife Protection Act in the country. It is not yet clear how the accused got the amber grease they were selling.
Ambergris, commonly known as 'whale vomit,' is a brown wax-like substance formed in the whale's stomach. This substance vomited by whales floats in water. The coastal region of Oman in the Middle East is known as ambergris. These substances are as precious as gold in the perfume market.