Some 145 kilograms of so-called sperm whale vomit, known to perfumers as ambergris, "grey amber" or “floating gold”, with a market value of Turkish lira (TRY) 11mn ($1.6mn) was seized by security forces in Turkey’s Mediterranean province of Mersin, according to Hurriyet.
Toroslar district police department teams reportedly took action after learning that a whale vomit substance was being used in perfume production at a facility in the Cilek neighborhood.
Whale vomit is a rare and expensive wax. It is produced as a secretion in the bile duct of the intestines of sperm whales to protect them from the sharp beaks of squid, which they eat, and is passed as vomit or fecal matter. It can be found floating in tropical seas and is used as a fixative in manufacturing perfumes.
In the operation, around 200 millilitres of ambergris fluid were also found, the news report said. The fluid was being used to dissolve the whale vomit during the police search.
Upon the instruction of the public prosecutor, the seized materials were delivered to the Mersin Customs Directorate.
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