Fake Wonka bars warning after counterfeit chocolate treats among £100,000 Oxford Street haul

·2-min read
Westminster City Council Loren Phillips with items seized during a raid of three unnamed stores on London’s Oxford Street (Westminster City Council/PA)
Westminster City Council Loren Phillips with items seized during a raid of three unnamed stores on London’s Oxford Street (Westminster City Council/PA)

A haul of fake Wonka chocolate bars worth £22,000 are among counterfeit products totalling £100,000 seized from three stores on London's Oxford Street.

Westminster City Council said officers raided the unnamed stores on Monday, taking away an estimated £22,000 worth of potentially dangerous Wonka bars from one store alone.

Officers seized 2,838 disposable vapes which contained excessive levels of nicotine, tank sizes above the permitted level and products which had not been authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

The haul of counterfeit products included toys, Apple and Samsung products, chargers, shisha products and watches.

The council said the raid was part of its investigation into 30 US-style sweet and souvenir shops on Oxford Street for business rates evasion amounting to £7.9 million.

The Food Standards Agency said any Wonka-branded chocolate which did not feature the official Ferrero or Ferrara Candy Company trademarks on the label were likely to be a counterfeit product.

It warned after the raids: "If you have bought these knock-off bars, do not eat them."

Tina Potter, from the FSA, said some of the counterfeit bars had been found to contain allergens that were not listed on the label, posing a major health risk to anyone with a food allergy.

She added: "There is no way of knowing what ingredients are in these bars or what food hygiene practices are being followed by the people making or repackaging them."

Meanwhile Westminster Council estimated it had seized more than £475,000 in counterfeit and illegal products from the businesses in the past six months.

Council leader Adam Hug said: "We need landlords to take responsibility about who they let to."

"The problem is that owners of buildings are turning a blind eye to those who sublet them as it means they are not liable for business rates.

"This needs to stop and we will be stepping up pressure on landlords to make it clear they are responsible for Oxford Street being overrun with these kinds of stores."

Previously the council said it had written to 28 freeholders "urging them to consider the impact of US sweet shops on Oxford Street".

It warned Its officers were taking action to enforce against properties under various civil proceedings, including planning enforcement action where the premises are advertising illegally.

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