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Hefty fine for trader who sold toxic jewellery

A routine Trading Standards inspection has resulted in the prosecution of a business which sold potentially toxic products.

On January 16, 2020, officers from Manchester City Council Trading Standards carried out an annual inspection of Vavachi Ltd, in Sherbourne Street.

During this visit samples of products which were being sold were taken away for analysis. Items taken included a children’s jewellery set and a separate pair of earrings.

When examined it was found that the children’s set contained more than 6,000 times the legal limit of Cadmium, a natural element which has been known to cause cancer.

The other earrings were also found to contain more than 3,000 times the legal limit of lead, another harmful metal which is toxic to humans if exposed to it over a prolonged period.

Following this examination, Trading Standards returned to this business on February 7, 2020 and seized the remaining pieces of stock, totalling 277 items of jewellery.

The limited company and its director, Amindin Ataie, 47, of Grundy Avenue, Bury, were interviewed under caution during which Ataie stated the offending items were bought from the businesses previous owner and he was not aware of legislation governing jewellery safety.

At a hearing at Manchester Magistrates’ Court held on Thursday, 22 September 2022, Vavachi Ltd and Ataie pleaded guilty to three offences under the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) Enforcement Regulations 2008.

The company was ordered to pay a fine of £1,998, costs of £1,000, and a surcharge of £66.

Ataie was sentenced to a 12-month community order which must comprise of 100 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay costs of £1,000 and a victim surcharge of £161.

Councillor Lee-Ann Igbon, Executive Member for Vibrant Neighbourhoods said: “This prosecution highlights just how important our inspections of city traders can be. While the vast majority trade ethically and within the law, in cases like this it shows that our diligence pays off.

“Safety regulations are in place for a good reason, and I am pleased we’ve been able to take these dangerous products out of circulation. As ever, I am incredibly grateful for the hard work of our Trading Standards officers and legal team.”

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