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SafetyAlerts
May 23,  2002

Four California Companies Charged With Illegal Toy Importation
CPSC, DOJ seek fines and injunctions against companies and owners

(SafetyAlerts) - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that a lawsuit has been filed against four Los Angeles-area businesses and six individuals, for importing dangerous toys that violate federal safety laws. CPSC and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) are seeking civil penalties and injunctive relief against the following firms and their presidents or owners: Lucky Toys Inc. (Julia Ko and Steve Thai), Union Import Inc. (Simon Ko), Rita Chin (owner of the now-defunct Kool Imports Inc.), 333 Imports Inc. (Harry Chin), and Seven Stars Toys Imports Inc. (Ivan Ko). All of these individuals are related as siblings or in-laws.

The complaint alleges that since 1997, these firms imported 47 separate types of toys (totaling over 350,000 units) which had small parts in violation of CPSC regulations. To protect children under three years of age from choking, aspiration, or ingestion hazards, federal law prohibits toys from having small parts. Examples of the violative toys include baby dolls, frogs, phones, cars, airplanes, and bath sets.

CPSC informed the companies and their owners/presidents on numerous occasions that their imports were illegal and dangerous; yet, the complaint alleges that the firms and their owners/presidents knowingly committed further violations. Through the inspection and detective work of CPSC and the U.S. Customs Service, most of these toys were seized at the Port of Long Beach before they could reach store shelves.

"Thanks to the hard work and dedication of CPSC investigators and Customs agents, no child was injured by these dangerous toys," said CPSC Acting Chairman Thomas Moore. "This case shows that CPSC, Customs, and the Justice Department are committed to working together to prosecute those who endanger the safety of children."

In addition to the current charges, Steve Thai was sentenced on April 9, 2002, to three years probation and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine for importing children's toys that violated federal law. Thai, who formerly owned the now defunct Super Rambo Inc., is the first individual sentenced for a criminal conviction related to CPSC's mandatory children's toy standards.

Product

Violation

Quantity

Toy penguin

small parts

4,320

Toy bus

small parts

65,016

Train set

small parts

12,528

Musical doll

small parts

7,200

Musical doll

small parts

46,440

Toy airplane

small parts

7,680

Toy car

small parts

32,640

Toy car

small parts

960

Toy car

small parts

1,440

Dog play set

small parts/balls

1,728



Union Import

Product

Violation

Quantity

Toy car

small parts

17,280

Toy phone

small parts

11,040

Baby doll

small parts

1,920

Toy frog

small parts

2,880

Musical frog

small parts

1,440

Toy hammer

small parts

8,640

Toy hammer

small parts

12,672

Musical doll

small parts

7,680

Wind-up doll

small parts

10,080

Toy bus

small parts

1,680

Toy car

small parts

900

Toy phone

small parts

23,232



Kool Imports

Product

Violation

Quantity

Toy car

small parts

2,400

Toy phone

small parts

2,400

Toy phone

small parts

2,400

Musical dolphin

small parts

2,400

Toy duck

small parts

4,800

Toy car

small parts

1,296

Animal toy

small parts

4,500

Toy elephant

small parts

900

Doll set

small parts

2,400

Toy car

small parts

3,600

Toy worm

small parts

3,600

Toy phone

small parts

2,400

Toy phone

small parts

1,800

Musical phone

small parts

3,600

Toy musical bus

small parts

4,800

Toy bath set

small parts

2,400



333 Imports

Product

Violation

Quantity

Tambourine play set

small parts

250

Toy seal

small parts

3,600



Seven Stars Toys

Product

Violation

Quantity

Toy phone

small parts

7,200

Toy airplane

small parts

2,880

Toy phone

small parts

7,200

Toy tractor

small parts

630

Toy horse

small parts

7,200

 
Source: CPSC

 
Selected Recent Recalls


Health Professional:

Did you know?
During 2000 there were over
1050 products recalled in the United
States for safety reasons!

How many did you hear about?

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