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Commission’s case against King Cargo concluded

Commission’s case against King Cargo concluded

Itinerant trader Stuart Connell and his company King Cargo Limited have now been fined a total of $5,750 plus costs for selling bicycles that failed to comply with the bicycle safety standard. King Cargo was fined $5,000 in May this year. Mr Connell was fined a further $750 in the Porirua District Court yesterday, concluding the Commission’s case.

A Commerce Commission investigation in December 2001 found that 34 Trans brand BMX and mountain bikes on sale by King Cargo in its temporary shop in Masterton did not meet the required safety standards. Failure to comply with the standards is a breach of the Fair Trading Act.

At the time, Mr Connell undertook to recall the bicycles, and to replace or repair any bicycles that did not comply with the safety standards. His failure to do so resulted in the Commission taking legal action against the company and Mr Connell.

Mr Connell subsequently left New Zealand for Australia. His company was prosecuted in his absence and Mr Connell was personally summonsed to appear in court upon re-entering the country two weeks ago. He failed to appear in Court yesterday, so the matter proceeded by way of formal proof.

Director of Fair Trading Deborah Battell said that the Commission took proceedings against Mr Connell because it was important for business people to understand that they were personally liable for their actions and could not hide behind their companies.

“The Commission also wanted to send a message to itinerant traders that they could not expect to escape prosecution by leaving New Zealand,” she said.

For more information on the Commission’s case against King Cargo, visit http://www.comcom.govt.nz/publications/mediarel.cfm and enter “King Cargo” in the search term.

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