Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Forest Department on Sunday July 10 seized ambergris worth Rs 3.7 Crore near Vedaranyam in Nagapattinam District and arrested six persons in connection.
The seizure and arrests were made by a special team led by Vedaranyam range officer B. Ayub.
The arrested are M. Andavar, A. Sivalingam, D. Manivasagan, S. Omprakash, R. Ilayaraja and V. Saravanan.
In a statement, the department said that Andavar and Sivalingam were trying to sell the ambergris to Ilayaraja and others when the team intercepted them.
It said that the potential buyers were trying to smuggle it to some foreign country.
Ambergris is a solid waxy substance originating from the intestine of a sperm whale and is in high demand in several foreign countries.
Forest department officials told IANS that locals are being to smuggle ambergris, which is on the rise in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.