Company sold dangerous goods

A COMPANY selling potentially lethal leisure and industrial equipment has been told to pay nearly �20,000 after a Suffolk trading standards investigation.

A COMPANY selling potentially lethal leisure and industrial equipment has been told to pay nearly �20,000 after a Suffolk trading standards investigation.

However, Korel Merchandising, which has been fined �18,000 by magistrates in Ipswich, is unlikely to hand over the money as it has gone out of business.

The court heard the company was run from Israel, although it used a warehouse in Walton Avenue, Felixstowe and had a base in North Finchley, London.

Korel Merchandising pleaded guilty to 12 offences involving machinery and mechanical items which could be harmful to consumers. These included a quad bike, go kart, sandblaster, concrete mixer and a radio controlled car.

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Ian Du Prez, representing Suffolk County Council, told the court trading standards officers stopped the entire business after going to the company's Felixstowe warehouse in February last year following complaints. Due to the closure Korel Merchandising went out of business.

Mr Du Prez said company could not afford to come to court as those who run it were not UK residents. They had said they did not have the funds for airline tickets or a solicitor.

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The business pleaded guilty by letter to all the offences and asked for the court's mercy.

The goods being sold were purchased in China and then imported into the UK for sale, many on the EBay website.

Around 40 products were seized over two days by trading standards officers last February.

The court heard Korel Merchandise did not examine any of the goods when they arrived in the UK from China before despatching them to customers. The last time company representatives visited the manufacturers was two years before the raid at its warehouse.

Although the business had agreed to voluntarily suspend supplying goods after trading standards officers began their investigation a quad bike was found still for sale on Ebay.

The guilty pleas to the offences which were brought before the court related to an unsafe Go Kart SX G1100 and failure to supply or retain information about it. The other allegations related to an ATV Hummer quad bike which was unsafe to the point of death or injury and the fact there was not technical file on the ATV Hummer and did not possess any EC mark.

The remaining offences related to a sandblaster, a radio controlled car which was also unsafe and a concrete mixer which had inappropriate protection from an electric shock.

As well as an �18,000 fine, costs were awarded against Korel Merchandising of �1,750 and a victim surcharge of �15 was also levied.

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