Firm sold dangerous crash helmets

One of the helmets

One of the helmets

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A business man who sold dangerous motorcycle helmets and fake car parts has been ordered to pay back more than £180,000 of his ill gotten gains.

Moortaza Walji (55) of Ayres Drive, Peterborough, sold fake goods with logos of seven car and bike manufacturers - including Mercedes and BMW.

Walji, the director of BargainworldUK, also offered for sale helmets bought from China. When tested the material used to make the helmets was so week full impact tests could not be completed, due to the likelihood of the testing equipment being damaged.

Yesterday he appeared at Peterborough Crown Court, where he was sentenced for 15 offences in relation to trade mark offences and selling unsafe helmets. BargainworldUK had also been charged with the same offences.

Walji was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for one year, and ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £182,091 - the amount he benefitted from selling the goods, and £13,145 cost, and an £80 surcharge.

The firm was ordered to pay a nominal £5 sum.

Recorder Sandeep Kainth, sentencing said: “Selling items which are fake is always a serious matter. It deprives those who purchase branded items of having quality.”

The court was told Walji had pleaded guilty to all offences at the first opportunity, and had co-operated with authorities after the investigation started in October 2013, including recalling the dangerous crash helmets.

Speaking after the case, Donna Hall, public protection manager at Peterborough City Council, said: “This investigation is another great example of teams at the council working in partnership with the local community. We continue to work with the public, local traders and enforcement partners to ensure we stamp out illegal business practices in Peterborough.

“Purchasing counterfeit goods helps fund criminal organisations and can have a terrible effect on not only local businesses, but also the lives of those that purchase goods.

“This investigation has stopped a criminal counterfeiting enterprise worth thousands of pounds. It should send a clear warning to anyone who is considering a similar enterprise you will get caught and brought to justice.”