TWO BUSINESSMEN who operated a pipeline for dangerous toys and pirated goods from China to amusement arcades on the North Yorkshire coast have been jailed.

Martin Ivor Miller, 61, commissioned the illegal items from Neel Ramesh Parmer, 37, and provided samples to copy, said Samuel Faulks, prosecuting.

Parmer arranged for manufacture in China and the goods to be imported into the UK.

Miller then sold the goods netting himself £40,000 a year.

The illegal trade ran for two and a half years until North Yorkshire trading standards officers investigated Miller’s shop on the seafront at Filey, said Mr Faulks.

In his Liverpool warehouse, they found 229,651 dodgy items and when they tested a toy monkey they found it was made of plastics that would produce toxic fumes if heated.

North Yorkshire County Council revealed after the case, trading standards officers found dodgy items from the pair at two amusement arcades.

County councillor Andrew Lee, executive member for trading standards said: “It is disappointing to think that visitors to the county might have won fake and unsafe items during their family holiday or day trip.

"It is particularly worrying to see that the toy monkeys contained harmful phthalates at a level banned in law.

"I am pleased that our officer was able to identify these products and take action to remove them from supply.”

Among the items seized were toy figures, bracelets, cushions, wrist bands, key fobs, playing cards, erasers and wallets.

The brands which had been counterfeited included Fortnite, Peppa Pig, Pikachu, Minions, Barbie, Minecraft and the Creeper.

In court, the Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris warned the pair the illegal items could have been made by forced or child labour or in sweatshops in working conditions not tolerated in the UK because there were no checks on how they were made.

“I am quite satisfied these offences are so serious and the need to deter white collar criminals from embarking on this kind of offending is so necessary, only an immediate custodial sentence is appropriate,” he told the pair.

Miller, of Sunrise Close, Liverpool, was jailed for seven years and Parmer, of Briar Road, Watford, for eight at York Crown Court.

Both admitted nine charges of distributing goods with fake trademarks, three offences relating to copyright breaches and two offences relating to fake Fingerlings monkeys which contained excess quantities of two phthalates.

Miller also admitted having pirated goods for sale at Filey.

North Yorkshire trading standards will seek to confiscate their assets at a hearing this winter.

York Crown Court heard Top Notch Goods Ltd of Liverpool, of which Miller was a director, has collapsed.

Mr Faulks said Parmer was the only member of the London board who knew about the counterfeit goods.

For Miller, Paul Lewis said he had been short of money when his relationship broke up and he was running two households.

“He made a series of poor decisions he has regretted,” said the solicitor advocate.

For Parmer, Keith Whitehouse said he was “utterly remorseful”.

He had started the China trade at a time when Euro Bijoux Ltd of London, of which he was a director, had hit financial problems and could have collapsed.

“He is doubly distressed by the prospect of losing the family business (now)”, said Mr Whitehouse.

“That is something that fills him with shame.”