Customs at Schiphol Airport intercept elephant-hair jewellery

On Friday 8 April Customs at Schiphol Airport found two pieces of jewellery made of elephant hair in the luggage of a French passenger.

The passenger had arrived on a flight from Thailand. Upon inspection Customs found the two bracelets in his suitcase. In order to import jewellery or other products made of elephant hair a CITES permit is required because of the protected status of elephants. Given the fact that the passenger could not produce such a permit, Customs seized the bracelets. The passenger was subsequently reported for violation of the Flora and Fauna Act.

The two bracelets were taken to the Customs laboratory in order to ascertain on the basis of a DNA test from which type of elephant the hairs originated. Establishment of the exact protection status of the type elephant in question is required to define further punitive measures: either criminal proceedings or an out-of-court settlement.