Three men pretending to be Sabarimala pilgrims held with ambergris worth Rs 5 cr

From left: Marakkattupoyil Bajin, Arundas, Vattakkandi Rahul. Photo: Special Arrangement

Thrissur: Acting on a tip-off, Thrissur city police on Saturday arrested three persons who tried to sell ambergris worth Rs 5 crore in the black market pretending to be Sabarimala pilgrims.

The accused are Koyilandi natives Marakkattupoyil Bajin (31) and Vattakkandi Rahul (26), and Kozhikode Arikulam native Arundas (30).

Police recovered 5 kg of ambergris from the car in which the accused were travelling. They were nabbed by police after they approached the accused pretending to be buyers.

The accused had come in the guise of Sabarimala pilgrims to convince those who came to buy ambergris. Possession and sale of ambergris is prohibited in the country under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

The police took into custody the Toyota Innova car the accused were travelling in. Ambergris, commonly known as 'whale vomit', is a brownish waxy substance that forms in the abdomen of sperm whales. Ambergris is mainly used in making costly perfumes.

In a similar incident, the forest department seized 19 kg of ambergris from Chettuva in Thrissur and arrested three accused in July 2021.

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