Hundreds of unsafe items seized from Manchester trader

Hundreds of unsafe items seized from Manchester trader

One of the electrically unsafe items on sale.

A businessman who tried to dodge responsibility when caught selling potentially dangerous items has been fined thousands of pounds.

In October 2018 Trading Standards Officers working for Manchester City Council carried out a routine inspection at Amil International Ltd., in Broughton Street.

These inspections ensure that products being sold in Manchester meet health and safety standards and do not expose our residents to risk.

Samples were taken from a range of electrical items and toys, all of which failed the relevant safety tests following laboratory analysis. Electrical incense burners as well as decorative lamps were found to carry a risk of electric shock. Toys being sold were also found to have excessive amounts of phthalates – a substance which if ingested in large quantities can cause hormonal imbalances and is also linked to child asthma.

Akmal Habibi, 26, of Amberton Approach, Leeds was interviewed both in his role as company director, and as a representative of the limited company in connection to these unsafe items. Habibi claimed that it was stock left over from a previous business at the same address, however he was unable to supply any evidence to back up this claim.

Appearing at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday October 20 Habibi and the company pleaded guilty to a multiple charges relating to electrical safety and toy safety.

Habibi was fined £1,350, ordered to pay £1,100 in costs and a victim surcharge of £170. The company was also fined £3,100, ordered to pay costs of £2,500 and a victim surcharge of £170.

The total financial penalties incurred were £8,390.

There was also a forfeiture and destruction order made for the 411 dangerous items seized.

Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “As we move towards Christmas naturally people will turn to our local shops for stocking fillers and gifts. While we want to encourage people to shop locally, especially given the difficult economic climate we are living in now, it is our duty to ensure that products on sale are safe.

“We cannot have products on sale that would jeopardise the lives of our residents, which is why it is important that we show our willingness to prosecute offenders. In this case feigning ignorance of the products being sold is not an excuse and I hope other retailers will see this case and learn this important lesson.”

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