Police in Hanimaadhoo are keeping guard outside a house where 25 kilograms of ambergris is being held, whilst the dispute over its rightful owners is settled, reports Haveeru.
Hanimaadhoo council told Haveeru that three people have claimed ownership of what is purported to be the precious substance, secreted by sperm whales.
Vice President of the Council Masood Adam said that the eight people present on the beach when the ambergris was found had all agreed to share any money received for the substance before one member of the group changed his mind and contacted the police.
Ambergris is used to make perfumes, in medicine, and is also known as an aphrodisiac and so enjoys a high value on the international market. This particular find could be worth around Rf7.5 million (US$486,000) depending on its quality.