A couple caught selling illegal skin-lightening products have been ordered to pay more than £2,700, following a successful investigation by Manchester City Council.
At a Manchester Magistrates Court hearing, Gholahal and Comfort Akinbode, trading as Oyin Tropical Foods, both admitted possession of skin-lightening creams containing the banned substance hydroquinone, with intent to supply.
The products were seized by council officers in August 2017 and found to contain the illegal ingredient, which causes premature aging and weakening of the skin, damages the liver, increases the risk of the development of skin cancer and can cause neuropathy, a disease of the nervous system.
Mr and Mrs Akinbode, who traded at premises on Constable Street, Gorton, had been previously warned about selling these type of products by the council. When questioned, they could not tell officers who had supplied them with the products.
On Thursday 30 August 2018, the pair were each fined £450 and ordered to pay court costs of £911, plus a victim surcharge of £40 – making a total penalty of £2,712. The illegal goods were forfeited for destruction.
Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, said: “After ignoring warnings from our officers, these unscrupulous individuals sought to profit from the sale of goods which are known to be extremely dangerous, so it is quite right that they’ve been ordered to pay the penalty.
‘Businesses who have been warned or previously prosecuted for trading in these dangerous products will continue to be monitored and we won’t hesitate to take action to protect Manchester residents from harm.’