- The Insolvency Service and Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
- 1 November 2017
Designer furniture retailer Lombok has become the first business to be fined for breaching regulations introduced in 2013 to prohibit the importing and sale of illegally harvested timber.
On 25 October 2017 at Westminster Magistrates Court, Angora 2011 Limited, trading as Lombok was convicted and fined £5,000 plus costs after pleading guilty at the first hearing.
The company failed to exercise the required due diligence when placing an artisan sideboard on the market, imported on 1 June 2016 from India.
A previous breach of the relevant regulations had earlier been identified and led to a Notice of Remedial Action being served on Lombok on 28 April 2015; this was followed by a warning letter dated 7 October 2015 when the company failed to comply with the notice.
On 20 October 2016, officers visited Lombok’s central London showroom and found the required due diligence checks had not been made for an artisan sideboard for sale that had been imported from India.
When convicting the company District Judge stated these offences are “important”, addressing environmental concerns, biodiversity concerns, and public confidence that companies do not endanger those. Companies are required to mitigate the risk of illegal logging. Lombok had failed to exercise due diligence when importing the artisan sideboard, with their previous failures an aggravating feature, though in mitigation they had reacted proactively.
Taking into account their mitigation and credit for an early guilty plea, Lombok was fined £5,000, plus a victim surcharge of £170 and prosecution costs of £2,951. The total of £8,121 was ordered to be paid within 28 days.
Mike Kearney, Head of Regulatory Delivery Enforcement, said:
The Government’s Regulatory Delivery team will take action against businesses that persistently, deliberately or recklessly fail to meet their legal obligations.
Lombok failed to change their practises in response to our advice and so, given the impact of illegal logging, a criminal prosecution was appropriate. I am pleased that Lombok is now improving its supply chain monitoring.
This prosecution was brought by the Insolvency Service Criminal Enforcement Team on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Regulatory Delivery team.
Notes to editors
Angora Limited (company number 08680457), was incorporated on 6 September 2013 and trades as Lombok, a purveyor of ‘eastern-influenced and hand-crafted designer furniture, lighting and homewares’ from 204–208 Tottenham Court Rd, London W1T 7PL.
The prosecution was brought by the Insolvency Service Criminal Enforcement Team on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Regulatory Delivery team to address the company’s failure to exercise the required due diligence when placing a timber product on the market was contrary to Regulation 4(b) of The Timber and Timber Products (Placing on the Market) Regulations 2013. The judgment was pronounced at 12:30pm by District Judge Blake.
Regulatory Delivery is part of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It brings together policy expertise and practical experience to ensure that regulation is effectively delivered in ways that reduce burdens on business, save public money and properly protects citizens and communities. Regulatory Delivery is also responsible for sponsoring the British Hallmarking Council, a BEIS partner body.
The Insolvency Service, an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), administers the insolvency regime, and aims to deliver and promote a range of investigation and enforcement activities both civil and criminal in nature, to support fair and open markets. We do this by effectively enforcing the statutory company and insolvency regimes, maintaining public confidence in those regimes and reducing the harm caused to victims of fraudulent activity and to the business community, including dealing with the disqualification of directors in corporate failures. Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.
BEIS’ mission is to build a dynamic and competitive UK economy that works for all, in particular by creating the conditions for business success and promoting an open global economy. The Insolvency Service’s Criminal Enforcement Team contributes to this aim by taking action to deter fraud and to regulate the market. They investigate and prosecute a range of offences, primarily relating to personal or company insolvencies. Further information about the work of the Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team is available
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Published: 1 November 2017