A trader in Leamington Spa who sold fake and electrically unsafe products online has received a 12-month suspended prison sentence and been ordered to carry out 280 hours of unpaid work. He has also been disqualified from acting as a company director for five years.
Bhupinder Sandhu, sole Director of Partek Trade Ltd, was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court on July 19. He had previously pleaded guilty to five charges under the Trade Marks Act 1994 and admitted two offences of having in his possession for supply equipment which breached electrical safety regulations.
Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service began its investigation after receiving a complaint from a consumer related to the sale of suspected counterfeit goods. Trading Standards Officers test purchased a Samsung Galaxy digitiser screen and a mobile travel charger from the trader’s website and sent the products to Samsung, who confirmed they were counterfeit and electrically unsafe.
Officers then executed a search warrant at Sandhu’s home address, from where he ran his business, and found more than 1,300 fake products imported from China.
Among the products seized were fake Samsung phone chargers that were electrically unsafe, counterfeit replacement parts for mobile phones and tablets including screens, digitisers, batteries and back covers.
Fake mobile phone chargers that fail to meet EU and UK safety standards have been responsible for causing house fires and injuries.
Warwickshire County Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said: “The producers of counterfeit electricals are not interested in ensuring their products are safe, only in making them as cheaply as they can and this leads to potentially dangerous products appearing in the UK.
“I’m delighted that Warwickshire Trading Standards has taken this action to protect consumers.”
Warwickshire Trading Standards employed a Financial Investigator from Central Bedfordshire Council to examine the business. They discovered that Partek had a turnover that approached £2m.
In addition to the suspended sentence and unpaid work order, Sandhu was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £31,654 and £212,967 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.