Mumbai Court grants bail to three arrested with whale vomit

Staff ReporterUpdated: Saturday, July 17, 2021, 07:43 PM IST
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A sessions court on Tuesday granted bail to three persons found in possession of Ambergris or whale vomit, a solid waxy substance originating in the digestive system of a sperm whale and used to make perfumes and medicines.

The substance is of high value and sells at Rs. 1 crore per kg in the international market. The three men Mangesh Burande, Prasad Pingale and Amit Patil had claimed bail on the argument that while they had been found with the substance, they had not extracted it from a whale. They contended that though possession of it may be prohibited, they had not collected it by any unlawful means.

The court said in its order while granting the relief, that the proposed investigation in which the investigating officer claimed that their call details records need to be collected, does not need their detention at all. Additional Sessions Judge UM Padwad further said that conditions can be imposed to take care of the apprehensions expressed by the prosecution such as that they may abscond or commit a similar crime after release.

The accused had been arrested under provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act by the crime branch. The sperm whale is an endangered species and protected under the law. Smugglers are known to kill the fish to obtain the substance from its stomach.

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