Fake and Dangerous Electric Goods on Sale

Goods seized and company fined

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A local company selling mobile phones, accessories and laptops has been ordered to pay £14,240.90 and had £72,500 of counterfeit goods seized.

Fonemaster, based in the Southall Enterprise Centre, Bridge Street, Southall, and its director, Rajveer Takawal, appeared at Ealing Magistrates Court on Thursday, 11 August.

Both the company and Mr Takawal pleaded guilty to four charges of selling counterfeit Nokia and BlackBerry phone covers, batteries and phone chargers. The company also pleaded guilty to two charges of selling unsafe mobile phone chargers. And Mr Takawal, pleaded guilty to two charges of allowing the company to sell the chargers.

Mr Takawal was fined £1,425 and Fonemaster was fined £3,015 for the offences. Costs of £9,800 were also awarded to the council taking the total to be paid to £14,240.90.

Ealing council's Regulatory Services officers launched an investigation into the company following consumer complaints. In August 2010 they visited the Southall shop and seized more than 6000 fake Nokia and BlackBerry mobile phone covers, more than 3000 counterfeit phone batteries and another 500 electrically unsafe and potentially dangerous mobile phone chargers.

An electrical expert tested the chargers and found they failed the required safety standard and posed a danger to the user. The court heard that neither the company nor Mr Takawal took any steps to establish whether the goods were safe to use before they were put on sale.

Councillor Ranjit Dheer, cabinet member for Safer Communities, said: “This company, and its director, have paid the price for putting the safety of their customers at risk by selling fake, untested and potentially dangerous conterfeit phone chargers.

“Fake chargers are prone to overheating and can cause fires and electrical shocks, but both Fonemaster and Mr Takawal neglected to check the safety of these goods before they sold them. I hope this case serves as a lesson to others who are tempted to break the law in this way.”

23rd August 2011