Mumbai: Agarwood aka 'liquid gold' worth Rs 59 lakh seized

The Mumbai Crime Branch seized Agarwood and its oil worth over Rs 59 lakh on Saturday and arrested two persons for it's illegal storage. Agarwood is used in manufacturing perfumes and is highly expensive. In ancient times it was used to be called as "the wood of gods" and it's extracted resin is still described as "liquid gold".

Acting on a specific information, sleuths of Unit 1 of the crime branch conducted raid at central building located in Dongri on Saturday night and seized 14 kilograms of Agarwood oil worth Rs 49.78 lakh along with 21 kilograms of Agarwood chips worth over Rs 10 lakh. During the raid, two persons Hussain Mukit, 37 and Baharuddin Fazarali 24 were arrested. According to the officials, Mukit is a perfume dealer while Fazarali works at his store.

"Agarwood is a protected species under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 and license is require for its storage and its selling, " said Pandharinath Patil, senior inspector of crime branch unit 1. The two have been arrested under the provisions of Forest act, they were produced before a court on Sunday which remanded them police custody till July 22.

According to the officials, Agarwood is used to make products like perfumes, fragrances and oud oil, and it forms the base for high-end expensive perfumes. However, not everyone knows that only when the tree is infected by a fungus, it produces a protective layer around its bark. This layer is dense and fragrant and the essence extracted from this layer is used to make oud oil and perfumes. In many instances the poachers don't know this and ends up hacking healthy trees in the process.

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