Illegal skin lighteners – two more prosecutions

London Trading Standards campaign against illegal skin lightening products saw further success last month when two more businesses were successfully prosecuted.

Glamour Touch at East Street in Barking

In Barking & Dagenham Ms Ashwinder Sachdeva (37), the Director of Glamour Touch (UK) Limited at 66 East Street, Barking, IG11 appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court.  She pleaded guilty to labelling, composition and trade marks offences.

491 skin lightening products had been seized by Barking & Dagenham Trading Standards during visits to the premises in 2014 and 2015. Analysis showed some products contained mercury whilst others had hydroquinone in them. Both of these substances are prohibited. Another product, called Fair & Lovely, was found to be counterfeit.

His Honour Judge Darling QC imposed fines of £7,000 with a further £9,000 costs order. In addition a confiscation order was granted meaning the business must repay £4,750 under Proceeds of Crime legislation – a total of £20,750.

Shaba Hair & Cosmetics in Peckham

In Southwark Mr Banaras Hussain (49) of Tottenham, N15, a former Director of Shaba Hair & Cosmetics (Peckham) Limited appeared at the Inner London Crown Court. He pleaded guilty to ten offences relating to the supply of illegal skin lightening products. Some of the products contained ingredients so potent they were classed as prescription only medicines.

In December 2015 nearly 2,500 products were seized by Southwark’s officers from the Peckham branch in Rye Lane, SE15. This  followed under-cover test purchases when potent illegal skin lighteners had been sold on an under-the-counter basis. Analysis showed they contained prohibited ingredients such as hydroquinone and corticosteroids.

The Court heard how most of the products had been found in concealed storage at the back of the premises. Furthermore Mr Hussain has previous convictions for similar offences committed at the same branch as well as in Hackney and Enfield. Sentencing was adjourned until January 2018 pending Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation proceedings. Her Honour Judge C Wright commented that the offences were serious and all sentencing options were open.

In January London Trading Standards published figures for 2016 showing 15 cosmetic businesses across the capital were fined a total of £168,579 for dealing in unsafe cosmetic products.