Manchester trader handed hefty fines for flogging hundreds of ‘potentially dangerous’ fake poppies

Manchester City Council wants the fines to "send a firm message" to other traders who think they can "skirt the law" and "disregard safety regulations".

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 10th June 2024

A trader who flogged hundred of fake poppies and other items deemed “potentially dangerous” has been handed some hefty fines.

Thanks to an early warning tip-off by a member of the public back in April 2022, Manchester City Council‘s Trading Standards team was alerted that a consignment of toys imported by Miku Accessories and Gifts Limited had arrived in the country, and by choosing to act on supplied intelligence, carried out an inspection at a premises on Derby Street, just outside of Manchester city centre.

During this inspection, samples were taken from a range of items on sale.  

Seized items by the Council’s Trading Standards team during the inspecting included 422 ‘poppy’ pins – which were confirmed to be fake, and not authorised by the Royal British Legion – 110 items of jewellery, 200 light up toys, 136 suspected-counterfeit ‘Marvel’ toys, and a further 73 toys that were all lacking the correct labelling.  

“Dangerous levels” of heavy metals were also found in the samples of jewellery seized and inspected, while issues with the light-up toys were also detected too, while other elements were found to be too small and therefore posed a potential choking hazard. 

Manchester seller handed hefty fine for flogging hundreds of ‘potentially dangerous’ fake poppies / Credit: Manchester City Council

When interviewed by Trading Standards, the company’s director – who has been named as 49-year-old Ling Bin Li, from Sale – stated that items were imported from China, and that he relies on “verbal confirmation that goods are compliant with laws” in the country they are shipped to.

He also stated that items are tested on his family members to “ensure their safety”, before being sold onto to the public.


After claiming not to be aware of REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) Regulations, as well as the Toy Safety Regulations and the Trade Marks Act, prior to a hearing at Tameside Magistrates Court last Monday (3 June 2024), Mr Li pleaded guilty to offences under the REACH Act, Toy Safety Regulations, and the Trade Marks Act. 

Mr Li accepted that he did not conduct due diligence over the products which were being sold, and that he did not check the relevant regulations, according to Manchester City Council.

Because of this, he was subsequently fined £2,000, as well as a victim surcharge of £190, and costs of £2,000, while his business was ordered to pay a £6,000 fine, a victim surcharge of £190, and additional costs of £2,340. 

Derby Street in Manchester city centre, where Miku Jewellery is located / Credit: Google Maps

A forfeiture order was also granted for the items seized by Trading Standards, the Council has confirmed.

Councillor Lee-Ann Igbon, who is the Executive Member for Vibrant Neighbourhoods at Manchester City Council, says she believes Mr Li’s fines should “send a firm message” to other traders who think they can “skirt the law” and “disregard safety regulations”.

“We are entirely committed to ensuring that people in Manchester are able to shop safely,” Cllr Igbon added.

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“The work of our Trading Standards team is invaluable in making sure that dangerous products do not make their way into the homes of ordinary people.”

Featured Image – Google Maps