Consumer Affairs Victoria has successfully taken action against a Victorian discount retailer after its safety inspectors seized more than 10,000 unsafe toys and dummies from the company's stores.
The products were found in shops operated by Abesta International Pty Ltd, trading as Spare Change, which has outlets in Thomastown, Dandenong, Geelong, Carrum Downs and Morewell.
On April 16, the Supreme Court made orders restraining the trading activities of Abesta International and its former managing director, Mr Ze Min Hu (also known as Simon Hu). It also made orders requiring the company to:
- pay to have the dangerous products destroyed
- publish full-colour public notices in daily newspapers informing consumers of the court’s orders and warning of the hazards posed by the unsafe products.
- put in place a stringent compliance program to ensure the company complies with Victoria’s product safety laws
Among items seized were:
- the “Happy Train” a plastic battery operated toy and the “Lovely Baby” a pre-school, plastic, battery-operated, interactive toy; both have small parts that easily break away, presenting a choking hazard
- the “Flashing Pacifier Whistle” an imitation baby’s dummy that presents a risk of cuts or lacerations to the mouth and its cord presents a risk of strangulation.
The cost of compliance and public notices imposed on the company amounted to more than $130,000, without adding court costs and the cost of destroying the products.
Parents and carers seeking more information about unsafe toys can also call the toll-free Toy and Nursery Safety Line on 1300 36 48 94.