Police in India seized approximately 17 pounds of sperm whale vomit, also known as ambergris during their operations.
Ambergris is a waxy substance that a sperm whale produce in its intestines and is reportedly used to make high-end perfumes. Usually when sperm whales have a stomach or throat irritant, they cover it in a greasy substance (i.e. ambergris and cast it out.)
It was reported that a trap was set during the operations by the police after receiving a tip that a “gang” was trying to sell the substance to foreign markets. Police pretend to be the Officials approached two men believed to be in possession of the ambergris and offered to buy it off of them.
Later on, the men fell for the trap and were both arrested after they offered to sell 17 pounds of ambergris to the undercover officers. Subsequently, the men selling the ambergris were sent prison.
The whale vomit was worth approximately $1 million.
It is illegal to use ambergris in the U.S. because the sperm whale is protected; however, it is used often in foreign markets. The substance is also contraband in India.
This is because those who wish to make a profit off of the substance have been known to illegally target sperm whales in order to obtain the valuable Ambergris from its stomach.