Published: Wednesday, 23rd March 2022
Two shops in Woolwich have been fined a combined total of £26,673.70 for selling illicit cosmetics, including potentially dangerous products for children.
Following complaints from residents and an investigation by The Royal Borough of Greenwich's Trading Standards team into Sabina Hair & Cosmetics and Rihana Cosmetics, in Woolwich, 616 products were seized including baby shampoos not legal in the UK, and dangerous skin lightening creams. The shampoos, bought cheaply in America and then shipped to the UK, are not tested or approved for sale on the UK market and could contain potentially dangerous ingredients.
Bexley Magistrates fined owners Mr Adeel Rubani and Mr Ghulam Musafa £1,000 each and a further £17,500 to their companies, after they repeatedly failed to comply to extensive advice and guidance from Council staff. Costs of £6,880 were awarded to the Royal Borough of Greenwich in addition to the fines.
This is not the first time Sabina Hair & Cosmetics and Rihana Cosmetics have been prosecuted under the Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations 2013. In 2018, Sabina Hair was fined £9,120 for selling products with banned or untested ingredients including Hydroquinone which if used incorrectly, can leave people prone to skin cancer. The owners have also previously been fined for flouting COVID-19 restrictions during the pandemic.
Councillor Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement said: “The cosmetic industry is tightly controlled for a reason and these products could contain dangerous substances. This is especially concerning when the products in question are for children. As repeat offenders, Mr Musafa and Mr Rubani should know better. But I'm incredibly proud of our Trading Standards team and everything they are doing to protect residents.”
Cllr Mariam Lolavar, Cabinet Member for Business and Economic Growth, added: “It is always disappointing when we try to work with local businesses and get ignored, thus putting the welfare of consumers at risk. Independent shops are the backbone of the local economy, and we will always try to work with business owners first by offering free advice and guidance, before pursuing legal action.”