Tower Hamlets Trading Standards has been clamping down on law-breaking businesses in the London borough, with recent successful prosecutions of a shop which sold alcohol to a minor and another business which sold dangerous cosmetics.
During an August 2022 test purchasing operation, an employee of Denni’s News on Swaton Road sold alcohol to a 14-year-old volunteer. At a hearing at Stratford Magistrates’ Court on 15 June 2023, the shop’s licensee, Dinesh Kanzaria, pled guilty to selling the alcohol to the child. He was fined £471 and ordered to pay £1,655 in costs. Dennis Bow Ltd, the company that owns the business, was fined £9,305 and ordered to pay a £2,000 victim surcharge as well as £1,655 in costs.
Manesha Sookun, another director of Dennis Bow Ltd, was fined £100 for a separate offence of failing to display a mandatory tobacco age restriction notice in the shop.
In a separate investigation, Tower Hamlets Trading Standards Officers visited Lalbagh Halal Foods Store on Chrisp Street Market and seized 150 cosmetic products, including hair dye and henna products.
The seized items were in breach of regulations as they did not display ingredients or instructions for use or disposal. Some were also found to contain the banned substance barium peroxide, which is irritating to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. It can also affect the nervous system and exposure could cause hypokalaemia, which can result in cardiac and muscular disorders.
The company which runs the store, Topbase Ltd, and one of its two directors, Alkas Miah, pleaded guilty on 13 December 2022 to nine offences under the Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations 2013. The other director, Hussain Ali, was found guilty on 28 March.
On 13 June Hussain Ali was fined £1,125 and ordered to pay a £112 victim surcharge and £1,500 in costs. Alkas Miah was fined £750 and ordered to pay £75 victim surcharge and £700 in costs. The company was fined £2,000, plus £181 in victim surcharge and £1,400 in costs. They had previously had a warning letter and guidance in 2016 when incorrectly labelled cosmetics were seen in the shop.
Cllr Kabir Hussain, Cabinet Member for the Environment and the Climate Emergency, said: “It is vital that all our shop owners and workers uphold the law so we can keep our young people safe.
“Selling products containing banned substances will not be tolerated in our borough. These products could have been dangerous to buyers and it is vital that they are taken off shelves to protect our residents.
“Well done to the council teams for taking action against these sellers.”