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

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

Detectives uncovered gold jewelry containing black fibers in the store
Detectives uncovered gold jewelry containing black fibers in the store

A jewelry villain has been convicted of selling gold bracelets and baby bracelets made from African elephant hair.

The jewelry, made from parts of the endangered species, was advertised for sale in a store in Wembley in north-west London.

Maharaj Sivasundram, 40, was found guilty on Friday of trying to sell the illegal jewelery and was fined £ 8,400.

It comes after police unveiled a quantity of gold rings and bracelets containing mysterious black fibers and baby bracelets marked as ‘elephant hair’ for sale.

DC Sarah Bailey, of the Met Wildlife Crime Unit, said: “There are legal requirements regarding the sale of specimens derived from protected or endangered species, requirements that had not been met in this case.

“African elephants keep poaching, activity that partners globally are trying to prevent, so it’s incredibly worrying that illegal derivatives of elephants have surfaced in London.”

The bracelets were labeled ‘elephant hair’ at a store in Wembley, north-west London


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

Detectives investigated whether the workers had ever legally imported jewelry for elephant hair, but no permits were ever given.

The following year, officers searched the store and found the gold jewelry with black fibers.

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

The fibers were examined by forensic scientists from the Science and Advice of the Scottish Agriculture Lab and found DNA from African.

Maharaj Sivasundram was convicted at Harrow Crown Court



Sivasundram was convicted of seven counts of offering to sell products containing specimens from endangered species.

In addition to the fine, he was also ordered to pay £ 3,500 in costs and a £ 170 fine at Harrow Crown Court.

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

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

The giant animals migrate through 37 countries in Africa and can be easily seen by their proboscis, which they use to communicate and pick things up.

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

The African forest elephant was raised from “vulnerable” to “critically endangered” after the population fell by more than 86 percent over three decades.

Meanwhile, the African savannah elephant has been listed as “endangered” in response to a population decline of at least 60 percent over the past 50 years.

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

About 415,000 elephants are left in Africa across both species, according to current estimates.

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