May 6, 2021

Yoyo balls capable of strangulation seized at Caribbean Market

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797148-ebff1230-5041-11e4-89a9-d538ff6eeb92By Anthony Galloway Knox Leader From Herald Sun

A total of 700 unlawful and dangerous products at Scoresby’s Caribbean Market were removed recently.

Yoyo balls capable of strangling a child, sunglasses with no labelling and a pram were among the items taken by Consumer Affairs Victoria in September.

It comes as the Australian Federal Police has this year seized 40,000 pirated DVDs that were suspected to be heading to the market.

The market was also slammed by residents last month over a stall selling offensive­ material, including a sticker making light of sex offending.

The market has continually failed to return the Knox Leader’s phone calls and emails over the past month.

Consumer Affairs Victoria swooped in on the market in September, seizing 254 yoyo balls and one pram deemed to be non-compliant.

The yoyo balls were removed as the ball component was heavy enough and the cord long enough to stretch around a child’s throat and cause strangulation.

An additional 435 sunglasses were also removed from sale as they failed to meet labelling requirements, while 10 children’s two-piece pyjama sets were removed for failing to include appropriate fire hazard labelling alerting consumers to the flammability of the material.

Consumer Affairs director Dr Claire Noone said the watchdog would continue its targeted approach to prevent further breaches from occurring and avoid unsafe products entering the market.

“There are serious penalties and consequences for supplying products that fail to meet the mandatory standard,” she said.

The inspections came after the AFP last month arrested Carnegie man Timothy Sezdirmezoglu and an associate, alleging they imported about 2.5 tonnes of DVDs from China they later allegedly sold at the Caribbean Market.

The AFP conducted another inspection of the market this month, with a spokesman saying it would continue to investigate serious large-scale intellectual property crime.

“Any illegal activity that occurs within the markets that constitutes a breach of Commonwealth law may be investigated by the AFP,” an AFP spokesman told Knox Leader.

Recent history

JULY 2011: The market is given two safety improvement notices by WorkSafe and told to make its chairlift ride safer after a Wantirna South mother said she feared for the safety of her six-year-old daughter and a seven-year-old friend when they were unable to secure themselves into their seats.

October 2013: A Knox Leader investigation finds that the market is a mecca for illegal goods, with illegal tobacco offered under the counter at stalls selling smoking paraphernalia ­including hookah pipes and “gram bags” used for marijuana packaging.

October 2013: The Motion Picture Association of America recommends the market be included on the United States Trade Representative’s list of “Notorious Physical Markets”. The market was ranked among the world’s worst for DVD piracy alongside other infamous markets located in Ukraine, Thailand, Russia and Indonesia.

September 2014: A man ­allegedly behind one of the state’s biggest DVD piracy scams is arrested in a huge federal police bust. Police ­allege Carnegie man Timothy Sezdirmezoglu and an associate imported about 2.5 tonnes of DVDs from China they later allegedly sold at the market.

September 2014: The market is slammed by residents over a stall selling “offensive” and “pornographic” material, including a sticker making light of being a sex offender.

September 2014: 700 items are removed by Consumer Affairs Victoria.

IMAGE: Dangerous goods were found at Caribbean Market in September.

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