Mumbai crime branch arrests three with whale vomit worth 2.7 crore

Unit 4 of Mumbai Police’s crime branch arrested three persons from Mulund for allegedly trying to sell 2
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Published on Jun 17, 2021 12:35 AM IST
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ByManish K Pathak, Mumbai

Unit 4 of Mumbai Police’s crime branch arrested three persons from Mulund for allegedly trying to sell 2.7 kgs of “whale vomit” or Ambergris, produced in the digestive system of sperm whales. Police seized the Ambergris, valued at around 2.70 crore. Ambergris is used in perfume manufacture and is found floating in the tropical seas.

The arrested accused are Ramesh Ramji Waghela, 56; Arvind Shah, 63; and Dhanaji Hasmukh Thakur, 52. Waghela is native of Rajkot and works as labourer, while Shah and Thakur are residents of Mulund and work as broker and television mechanic, respectively. Police said Waghela earlier lived in Mumbai but shifted to his native place in Gujarat a few years ago.

According to police, an official of unit 4 got information that few people were allegedly going to illegally sell ambergris in Mulund. Ambergris comes from a species of whale which is endangered and protected under the Wildlife Act.

“We informed forest officials. A trap was laid and we intercepted three persons with 2.7 kgs of whale vomit which was red brownish colour,” said a police officer.

After confirmation by marine biologists, Mulund police registered a case against the trio under the Wildlife Act.

During interrogation the arrested accused revealed that the main accused lives in Gujarat and came to Mumbai two weeks ago and gave the whale vomit to Waghela and his two associates and asked them to look for a buyer. He then left from Mumbai and went back to Gujarat. As per accused’s statement, Gujarat forest department arrested the main accused recently, a said crime branch officer.

“We will contact the Gujarat forest department and will verify the facts. The sample of whale vomit has been sent to the forensic department in Kolkata for chemical analysis,” said assistant police inspector Rajesh Patil of the unit 4. The three accused were produced in the court and remanded in police custody till Monday for further investigation.

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