Shop raided after counterfeit phone charger catches fire

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Trading Standards launched a raid on a Crawley shop after a counterfeit phone charger caught fire when a customer tried to use it.

Laptop batteries and phone chargers were among 500 items confiscated last week.

Shoppers are now being warned not to buy cheap products packaged in poor-quality wrappers which come without instructions.

Trading Standards operations manager Philip Lipscomb said: “After being tested, we discovered the charger was unsafe due to its poor construction and inadequate labelling.
“A number of other items confiscated at the store, including a Nokia battery, were also found to be counterfeit.”

Among other potentially dangerous items seized were laptop batteries, giant lighters and illegal tobacco products.

A spokesman for the county council said that, under current laws, officers can inspect businesses at any time – and refusal of entry can be seen as a criminal offence.

They refused to reveal which shop had been raided but added that, in such cases, shopkeepers could be fined or even imprisoned should investigations uncover a serious violation of the law.

A spokesman said: “Trading Standards are unable to disclose the name of the shop in Crawley while its officers are conducting a criminal investigation.

“If the matter goes to court, and is heard in public, then we will release more information including details of the business.”

Cllr Lionel Barnard, Council Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards, called on shoppers to be cautious when buying products which were cheap and poorly-packaged.

He added: “Fortunately in this instance we are able to act quickly and make sure shoppers were protected from these illegal goods.

“It is important people are not misled and we will always take action against rogue traders in order to support legitimate businesses across the county.”

Investigations into the store are still ongoing.