A London-based businessman and his imports company have been fined a total of £35,000 for supplying unsafe toys for retail, including a toy gun that contained toxic chemicals.
Hamza Memon and his company, Memon Imports Ltd of Ilford, East London, were found guilty of 12 breaches each of the Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011, one offence of supplying a toy that contained a banned substance contrary to the Restriction of chemicals Enforcement Regulations (REACH) 2008, and one offence in relation to supplying a forged test certificate under REACH.
Memon was fined £960 plus a victim surcharge of £48, totalling £1,008, at a sentencing at Highbury Magistrates’ Court on February 19. Memon Imports was ordered to pay £8,000 in fines, a £100 victim surcharge and costs of £26,604.42, totalling £34,704.42.
During a three-year investigation of the company by Enfield Council Trading Standards, officers bought a number of products labelled with the name Memon Imports Ltd from a Sam 99p store in Edmonton. These were sent for independent testing.
The defendants failed, despite several requests, to supply technical documents for the various toys purchased, including a Speed Car, Racer Speed Zone, Doctor Kit, Dart Blaster and Set Polizia.
The latter, which contained a toy gun with suction darts, was found to have excessive levels of Phthalates, a chemical that is classified as a CMR – carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction – and particularly harmful to boys.
Memon pleaded not guilty to the 14 charges he faced, but no-one appeared to represent the company.
The defendants were found to have inadequate systems in place to ensure the toys they were importing had been tested to the relevant European Standards and were safe. They also supplied a forged test certificate to Trading Standards during the course of the investigation.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Guney Dogan, said: “The protection of children from unsafe goods is a high priority for Enfield Council and we will continue to monitor local traders on a regular basis to ensure they, and the importers who supply them, are complying with the law.
“Importers have a duty to ensure all products they import are safe to place onto the market.”
“I am delighted that Enfield Council’s Trading Standards and Legal teams have helped to stop these toys from being sold – toys that could have had a severe impact on the health of young children.”