Sep 20 2012 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer
TWO businesses have been fined after one sold alcohol to children and the other had a vast array of fake perfumes on offer.
Books Islamia in Station Road, Harrow, was fined £2,000 and forced to pay more than £1,000 in costs after trading standards officers discovered more than 1,000 boxes of counterfeit perfumes displaying logos of Hugo Boss, Chanel and Lacoste among others.
Company director Aqeel Siddiqui appeared at Willesden Magistrates Court, on Wednesday last week, to represent the book shop, which received a visit from officers in July.
More than 2,000 cosmetic products, including the perfumes, were found on sale at the shop without the required labelling information detailing the EC manufacturer or importer’s name and address.
This information is required by law to ensure traceability for the origins of unsafe cosmetics.
The magistrate noted that Books Islamia was given credit for an early guilty plea but had clearly been negligent in buying goods from dubious sources.
It was ordered to pay costs of £1,255 to Brent and Harrow Trading Standards Service.
Metro Food and Wine appeared in court on the same day after trading standards officers organised a covert under-age test at the shop in Greenford Road, Harrow.
A 14-year-old entered the store and was able to buy two bottles of vodka-based alcopops without being asked for any proof of age.
When officers returned to the shop, 34 bottles of counterfeit Jacob’s Creek wine were discovered and seized.
On the day of the sale, shop owner Selliah Ethayanathan was unable to provide training records for the member of staff who had sold the alcohol to the child.
Mr Ethayanathan was also unable to provide receipts showing where he had purchased the counterfeit alcohol from. The magistrates imposed a fine of £175 and awarded £820 costs to Brent and Harrow Trading Standards Service.
Bill Bilon, head of Brent and Harrow Trading Standards Service, said: “Preventing underage sales is a continuing priority for the service and we regularly carry out undercover operations to monitor the compliance of local traders.
“In relation to counterfeit goods, traders who think that they can benefit from the reputation that bona fide businesses build are mistaken. Without the well-known brand names being attached to the goods, these perfumes and wines would be virtually worthless.”