Harlesden beauty shop fined for selling dangerous skin lightening creams

Sharafat Hussain, from Ilford, Essex, admitted selling products containing hydroquinone

A company director who sold dangerous skin lightening creams from his store in Harlesden has been heavily fined.

Sharafat Hussain admitted selling the products containing the banned substance hydroquinone from his shop in High Street which has since closed.

The 32-year-old from Ilford, Essex, is the director of Shaba Hair and Cosmetics (UK) which specialises in Afro hair and beauty products.

Brent Magistrates’ Court heard Hussain was prosecuted after a concerned husband contacted Brent and Harrow Trading Standards (BHTS) after his wife bought skin bleaching products from his store.

BHTS officers carried out a test purchase which led to them seizing a large quantity of the products from the shop.

Their investigations widened and they discovered the goods were also being sold in another shop owned by Hussain in Edmonton.

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Officers seized a total of 3,600 products from both stores.

Hussain had claimed despite being in the beauty industry for more than 10 years he had no idea hydroquinone was a prescription only product.

He admitted that he had taken no steps to check that the products could be sold legally in the UK.

He was fined �1,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of �1,375.

Shaba Hair and Cosmetics (UK) Limited were also fined �1,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of �1,375 to BHTS.

Bill Bilon, head of BHTS, said: “I am delighted that officers from Brent and Enfield have been able to remove these dangerous products from the market to prevent serious injuries occurring to consumers.

“I am also pleased that three enforcement agencies were able to work together to produce a highly satisfactory outcome”.