Ealing Council has prosecuted three partners of Pearl Jewellers of Southall after trading standard enforcement officers discovered unhallmarked gold jewellery during an inspection.
Mr Abdul Rashid Bhatti and his two sons, Mr Suhail Rashid Bhatti and Mr Assim Bhatti, pleaded guilty to 14 Hallmarking Act offences and 13 under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations. A financial penalty of £33,581 in total was imposed on the defendants by the court.
This case arose after two inspections were carried out on the jeweller based in Southall on 9 March and 27 July 2017 by Ealing trading standards enforcement officers.
The false statements and description made to consumers and to the council officers related to some of the gold jewellery items inspected and seized by the officers being described as “22 carat gold”. On further examination of the seized items by the London Assay Office, the results showed that some gold jewellery items seized did not contain at least 916.6 parts per thousand gold as required to be described as “22 carat gold”.
Trading standards officers have been cracking down on jewellers who sell unhallmarked and counterfeit jewellery over the past 18 months. This is the sixth succesful prosecution that has been brought by the council in the last 18 months.
Councillor Jasbir Anand, cabinet member for business and community services, said: “The work that our trading standards team has been doing to crack down on hallmarking and fraud has been second to none. Not only does this prosecution serve as a warning to any jewelers out there selling unhallmarked merchandise, it raises awareness amongst the public that unhallmarked products are being sold and customers should always look for visual confirmation before purchasing.
The British Hallmarking Council recognised Ealing Council’s trading standard team’s outstanding enforcement work and their dedication in protecting the public at an Annual CTSI Conference awards ceremony in Harrogate in June 2017 where they were presented with a solid silver plate, clearly hallmarked.
Suspected trading standards breaches should be reported to the Citizens Advice Service on 03454 040 506 or by going to www.citizensadvice.org.uk.