Thane: The Thane crime branch, Unit 5 sleuths have arrested two people for illegally smuggling whale vomit. The police are in search of the main accused involved in the syndicate.
The police after the arrest of the two have found 4 kg and 100 grams of whale vomit worth Rs 4 crore in their possession. Ambergris is a solid waxy substance originating in the intestine of the sperm whale.
The assistant police inspector, Anil Survase, of the crime branch received information about the accused coming to Thane. A trap was laid accordingly. "As per the information, the accused had collected the parcel from Navi Mumbai and had planned for a deal with a person near Ghodbunder road in Kasarvadavali area. The team apprehended the accused travelling on a motorcycle and stopped them near the old toll plaza and checked their bag. The pillion rider was carrying a bag had around 4 kg and 100 grams of red and brown Ambergris worth Rs 4 crore," said a police officer.
The police said the arrested accused are identified as Nandkumar Dabholkar 57 a resident of Virar and Mangesh Dilip Jawle 42, a resident of Kandivli. "Both of them are arrested and remanded in police custody till July 7. We are in search of the main accused involved in the illegal deal," said Vikas Ghodke, senior police inspector, Thane crime branch, Unit 5 (Wagle estate)
The police said Ambergris is in high demand for preparing branded perfume and in making pharmaceutical products and cigarettes.
"With the rising demand of Ambergris in the market, the illegal sale has seen a rise. Although police are clueless about the main accused who had the Ambergris and the dealer who was ready to buy it. In India, the sale of Ambergris is prohibited by law as the sperm whale is an endangered species that is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act. The two middlemen who are arrested are from poor backgrounds, lost their job during a lockdown and to survive they got ready to transfer this illegal material to the designated spot. We are reaching the link of the illegal supply," said a police officer.
A case under relevant sections of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 has been registered at Kasarwadavli police station.