Nearly 1,000 dangerous chainsaws imported from China with a host of faults have been seized at one of Britain's main borders. Trading standards chiefs said 486 boxes containing the self-assembly chainsaws were impounded at the Port of Dover in Kent.
They were found to have three crucial faults including a brake failure. Sixteen grass-cutters, also among the consignment, have been impounded as a major part was missing and documents were incomplete.
The importer told officers the chainsaws were destined for Poland. But now Trading Standards officials want the chainsaws destroyed, possibly by a charity which could sell the parts for scrap.
Sniffer dogs hired in by West Sussex Trading Standards have found 600 illicit cigarettes and tobacco.
It is the first time the dogs have been bought in and officers who led the raids, which took place in Littlehampton, Bognor and Worthing, say they are delighted with the results.
The dogs found one stash in a false cupboard which was hidden in a wall, accessed by a dummy power socket, which officers would never have spotted without them.
Lionel Barnard, the West Sussex County Council Cabinet member who oversees Trading Standards said, "This was an excellent result.
"Cheap illicit tobacco is more readily available to those on low incomes, including young people, who are amongst the priority groups we are particularly keen to support to not start, or to give up smoking."
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Trading standards officers from Dorset County Council are urging consumers to be on their guard against ‘cold-callers’ selling chainsaws door-to-door.
Several complaints have been received and safety concerns were raised about the products, and the sellers often having no contact details.
Consumers might think they are getting a bargain, but they will have problems if anything goes wrong.
Chainsaws are potentially dangerous unless used by experienced operators. We are also concerned that equipment like this has been offered for sale around Dorset without required safety warnings and user manuals with appropriate instructions for use.
Trading standards are urging people to contact them if they have been the victim of unlicensed lenders or loan sharks. It follows the case of a man who ended up paying back £90,000 on a loan of £250 that he took out 17 years ago.