DRI seizure of 18.1 kg Ambergris worth Rs 31.67 crore

Global Fisheries Conference, India, 2023

New Delhi, May 24, 2023: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) busts Ambergris smuggling gang racket, a threat to the nation’s flora and fauna and seized 18.1 kg of Ambergris at Tuticorin Coast which is valued at ₹31.67 crore (approx.) in illicit market on May 20, 2023.

Based on specific information that a gang would be attempting to smuggle ambergris out of India through the sea route near the coast of Harbour Beach, Tuticorin to Sri Lanka during the night hours of 18.05.2023, DRI Officers intercepted a vehicle along with five persons and recovered 18.1 kg of ambergris from the front seat of the vehicle. The occupants confessed the smuggling attempt.

Ambergris is a product of sperm whales, which is a protected species listed under Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and is thus prohibited for possession/export/transport. It was thus seized along with the vehicle used for transporting the prohibited item.

In the last two years, DRI has seized around 40.52 kg of Ambergris valued at Rs. 54 crore in the international market, attempted to be smuggled out of India from the Tuticorin Coast.

Four persons from Kerala and Tamil Nadu actively involved in this smuggling attempt were arrested and remanded under judicial custody.

Further investigation is under progress.

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