Home West London Man caught selling gold baby bracelets in London made from endangered elephant...

Man caught selling gold baby bracelets in London made from endangered elephant hair

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Maharaj Sivasundram, 40, advertised gold jewellery for sale at a shop in Wembley, north west London, which was searched by police who found the illegal haul

Detectives uncovered gold jewellery containing black fibres at the shop

Image: Met Police)

A jewellery crook has been convicted of selling gold bracelets and baby bangles made from African elephant hair.

The jewellery, made from parts of the endangered species, was being advertised for sale at a shop in Wembley, north west London.

Maharaj Sivasundram, 40, was found guilty on Friday of trying to sell the illegal jewellery and slapped with a £8,400 fine.

It comes after police uncovered a haul of gold rings and bracelets containing mysterious black fibres and baby bangles labelled as ‘elephant hair’ for sale.

DC 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”.

The bangles were labelled ‘elephant hair’ at a shop in Wembley, north west London
(

Image:

Met Police)

Metropolitan Police discovered the shop in 2017 and launched an investigation.

Detectives looked into whether the workers had ever legally imported elephant hair jewellery but no permits had ever been given.

The following year, officers searched the shop and found the gold jewellery containing black fibres.

Sivasundram, from Bushey, Hertfordshire, was not arrested at this time but was later interviewed under caution.

The fibres were examined by forensics from the Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture Lab and found DNA from African.

Maharaj Sivasundram was convicted at Harrow Crown Court
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Image:

PA)

Sivasundram was convicted of seven counts of offering the sale of products containing specimens derived from endangered species.

On top of the fine, he was also ordered to pay £3,500 in costs and a £170 surcharge at Harrow Crown Court.

DC Bailey added: “We will continue to identify and prosecute those profiting in London from the illegal trade of endangered species from around the world.”

African elephants are the largest animals in the world and grow throughout their lifetime.

The giant beasts wander through 37 countries in Africa and are easily spotted by their trunk which they use to communicate and pick things up.

African elephants were historically treated as one species but this in fact includes two separate species known as forest and the savannah.

The African forest elephant was elevated from “vulnerable” to “critically endangered” after the population plummeted by more than 86 per cent over three decades.

Meanwhile the African savanna elephant has been listed as “endangered” in response to a population decline of at least 60 per cent in the past 50 years.

The unprecedented decision was made by the International Union for Conversation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.

Around 415,000 elephants remain in Africa across both species, according to current estimates.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/man-caught-selling-gold-baby-26837787