Thousands of Chinese-made carcinogenic toys, frames seized in Istanbul
Crews from the Istanbul Directorate of Custom Enforcement examined four containers at the harbor in with x-ray devices.
Three tons and 115 kilograms of plastic frames and 19 tons and 415 kilograms of toys were seized in the containers during the search in the Büyükçekmece district.
Samples gathered from the items were sent to laboratories for detailed examinations, which found that the toys and frames contained a high amount of azo dye, which can cause cancer, infertility, genital and neural system disorders.
Custom teams in Istanbul physically examined the four containers which were alleged filled with metal frames, one by one. The examinations revealed that hundreds of smuggled toys were hidden behind the frames in one of the containers.
The Büyükçekmece Chief Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation into the incident.
According to the related law, seized illegal goods can be sold through tenders overseen by the Customs Ministry. However, the materials seized on Dec. 4 will be destroyed due to the health risks they pose.
A total of 2,065,056 items of smuggled toys and souvenirs were seized between January 2016 and Oct. 31, 2017 by customs officials in Turkey.
The Customs Ministry gave administrative penalties worth 666,128 Turkish Liras to toy smugglers during this period.
Toy Producers Association head Yakup Kireççi noted that Turkey is a country that imports the majority of toys bought.
“In 2016, we imported toys worth $425 million. These products are inspected by the Customs Ministry and the Economy Ministry. If there is any problem, these products are not accepted into the country,” Kireççi said, adding that around 5 percent of the toys in Turkey are smuggled goods.
“They try to bring them into the country under different product names ... Parents should choose reliable stores when buying toys. Any toys bought from street sellers could be dangerous,” he said.
Around 80 percent of smuggled toys are made in China, Kireççi also stated.