Man convicted of illegal sale of jewellery containing endangered elephant
hair (Harrow, UK)
April 30, 2022
A man has been found guilty of illegally selling gold jewellery containing
hair from African elephants, Scotland Yard said.
Maharaj Sivasundram, 40, was found guilty on Friday at Harrow Crown Court
of seven counts of offering the sale of products containing specimens
derived from endangered species, according to the Metropolitan Police.
The Met said Sivasundram, of Malden Fields, Bushey, was fined £8,400.
Police said it was in 2017 that detectives discovered a shop in Wembley
advertising gold jewellery, including rings and bangles, containing
elephant hair, for sale.
Inquiries were carried out to ascertain whether the establishment had ever
legally imported elephant hair jewellery, but police said no permits had
ever been issued.
The Met said officers carried out a search warrant at the premises on May
15 2018 and a large quantity of gold jewellery containing black fibres was
Sivasundram was not arrested at this time, but was later interviewed under
Police said forensic tests conducted by the Science & Advice for Scottish
Agriculture (SASA) laboratory on samples of the jewellery detected DNA from
Baby bangles offered for sale at the venue were labelled as “elephant
hair”, the Met said.
Detective Constable Sarah Bailey, from the Met’s Wildlife Crime Unit, said:
“There are legal requirements surrounding the sale of specimens derived
from protected or endangered species, requirements which had not been met
in this case.
“African elephants continue to be poached, activity which partners globally
are trying to prevent, so it is incredibly worrying that illegal
derivatives from elephants have appeared for sale in London.
“We will continue to identify and prosecute those profiting in London from
the illegal trade of endangered species from around the world.”