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News‘Fake’ poppy seller hauled into court after Trading Standards swoop

‘Fake’ poppy seller hauled into court after Trading Standards swoop

A trader who imported ‘fake’ poppies and dangerous toys to be sold in Manchester, has been fined.

In 2022, Manchester City Council’s Trading Standards team was alerted that a consignment of toys, imported by Miku Accessories and Gifts Limited, had arrived in the country.

Thanks to information from Leicestershire Safety at Ports Team, an inspection of Miku in Derby Street was carried out, with samples taken.

Seized items included 422 ‘poppy’ pins, 110 items of jewellery, 200 light-up toys, 136 ‘Marvel’ toys suspected of being counterfeit, and a further 73 toys which lacked the correct labelling.

A brand representative present on the inspection confirmed that the poppy pins on sale were fake and were not authorised by the Royal British Legion.

Jewellery analysed were found to contain dangerous levels of heavy metals. One ring contained 1,300 times the safe amount of lead allowed; lead in high quantities can cause health problems if someone is exposed for a prolonged time.

Another ring had higher than permitted levels of nickel, and was retained for further testing.

Issues with the light-up toys were also detected. The plastic cap and battery box were found to fit inconsistently and fixed with a varying quality of adhesive, which meant a child could gain access to the wiring. Other elements were found to be too small, posing a potential choking hazard.

Company director Ling Bin Li (49) of Broad Road, Sale, said the items were imported from China and that he relies on verbal confirmation that goods are compliant with laws in the country they are shipped to. He also stated that items are tested on his family members to ensure their safety before being sold to the public.

He also claimed not to be aware of REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) Regulations as well as the Toy Safety Regulations and the Trade Marks Act.

At a hearing at Tameside Magistrates Court, held on Monday, Li pleaded guilty to offences under the REACH Act, Toy Safety Regulations and the Trade Marks Act.

Li accepted that he did not conduct due diligence over the products which were being sold, and that he did not check the relevant regulations.

He was sentenced to pay a fine of £2,000, a victim surcharge of £190 and costs of £2,000. The business was ordered to pay a £6,000 fine, a victim surcharge of £190 and costs of £2,340.

A forfeiture order was granted for the items seized by Trading Standards.

Councillor Lee-Ann Igbon said: “We are entirely committed to ensuring that people in Manchester are able to shop safely. The work of our Trading Standards team is invaluable in making sure that dangerous products do not make their way into the homes of ordinary people.

“This sentence should send a firm message to traders who think they can skirt the law and disregard safety regulations which are in place for a very good reason.”

Helen Greaney
Helen Greaney
I'm a journalist with more than 18 years' experience on local, regional and national newspapers, as well as PR and digital marketing. Crime and the courts is my specialist area but I'm also keen to hear your stories concerning Manchester and the greater North West region.
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