The latest probes come in the wake of the seizure of the largest contraband of skin cream haul by two young but alert Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) officials on March 01 evening in Wellampitiya.
The CAA now estimates the value of seized contraband at around Rs 15.7 million.
These fake creams could have resulted in skin issues and injuries. Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen has praised two young officers of CAA who successfully completed this risky task.”
The March 01 evening raid to Kolonnawa warehouse was led by two young CAA officials who were previously tipped off on the quiet operation at Wennawatte, Wellampitiya, about 7km from Colombo city.
Upon raiding, the CAA teams found the same cream in bulk were re-packaged into smaller retail packs of different Commercial Brands-“Golden Pearl”, “Pai Me” and “Goree (Made in Pakistan)”, among others. Some packs of cream were also labelled “Seaweed Element-Whitening Anti Spot Cream” in English and priced at Rs 650 each. Some retail packs were advertised “7 Days Freckle removing” on the label as well. At the warehouse, the CAA found sub-standard creams in bulk packs that were printed in Chinese characters. There were no import documents or proof of country of origin. The suspected individual in charge of the operation also failed to produce any documents showing the location of production of the cosmetics (locally or abroad), product registration certificates or even registration numbers (which is also not found in any labels). The bulk creams were found in new large cardboard boxes, neatly stacked in shelves at the warehouse.
In 2014, CAA netted 100,000 fake black henna packets in Grandpass, Colombo. The 100000 packets were branded and printed showing a locally reputed brand name but the henna inside were switched with a sub-standard, adulterated dye powder. This stock was valued at Rs 13 million.
In November 2016, the CAA was informed of the use of adulterated and expired cosmetics in many salons around the country. CAA raided 107 beauty & hair salons in Kandy, Kurunegala, Gampaha, Jaffna, Batticaloa, Matara, and Puttalam Districts and detected expired cosmetics in 67 salons.
CAA officials speaking about the recent raid, urged consumers to be cautious of fake cream products, specially targeted at young women. “We especially warn young consumers to beware of these fake skin products, targeted mostly at young women. Do not purchase any packages just because they are low priced. Inspect for registration numbers, expiry dates and location of production.
Minister Bathiudeen had earlier directed CAA Chairman Hasitha Tilakaratne and his officials to raid and seize all fake and adulterated cosmetic products in the market or awaiting to enter the markets.