LONDON (Reuters) - A British woman who illegally imported and sold fashion accessories made from python skin was convicted on Friday, London police said.
Stephanie Scolaro, 26, was involved in the illegal import of a parcel containing 10 python-skin hats and two bags which was seized by customs in 2016 at Leipzig airport in Germany, Southwark Crown Court had heard.
An investigation began after London police’s Wildlife Crime Unit was alerted to the incident.
The enquiry found that Scolaro operated an online company named ‘SS-Python.com’, where she sold python-skin hats, bags, chokers and mobile phone covers.
More illicit python snake products were subsequently found in Scolaro’s central London home, and for sale at three shops in London.
“Pythons are one of many species protected under CITES, an international treaty to protect endangered plants and animals,” said Sarah Bailey of the Wildlife Crime Unit.
“Any trade outside of the legal framework could threaten the conservation status of the remaining wild population and contribute to its decline in the wild,” she added in a statement.
Scolaro, who pleaded guilty, will be sentenced on Jan. 21.
Reporting by Amy O'Brien; editing by Stephen Addison