Madrid: police seize 220,000 dangerous toys

Over 220,000 toys have been seized from toy-sellers in Madrid in an operation named Black Toy, with police saying they posed a serious risk to child safety.

Madrid: police seize 220,000 dangerous toys
The toys seized in a joint operation between the national police and Madrid’s local police posed risks including asphyxiation and poisoning. Photo: Policía Nacional

The seized toys were listed as dangerous products under the Spanish government’s Red de Alerta system. The system is based on the rapid sharing of information about products which could be a risk to consumers, between the different departments responsible for controlling the market.

The toys seized in a joint operation between the national police and Madrid’s local police posed various risks to child safety, among them asphyxiation and poisoning, police said in a statement on Wednesday.

Police searched a total of 16 premises, from which they also took items that were deemed counterfeit and others that posed a serious fire risk.

Five people have been taken into custody on counterfeiting charges and one person for breaching a court order, while police announced they have opened seven investigations into the alleged infringement of domestic and foreign trade laws.

Officers detected the suspicious items while policing the major tourist areas of the capital, particularly in the area around the Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol.

The area attracts hordes of street venders in the run up to Christmas who try to flog a range of toys to the thousands of visitors to Madrid’s Christmas market. Many of these items are among those listed as dangerous products by the Spanish government.

The investigation led to Fuenlabrada and Pinto, on the outskirts of Madrid, where police suspect the hazardous toys were warehoused.

A local official said Madrid was the region of Spain with the most alerts for dangerous consumer products: 22.5 percent of all alerts made since the beginning of 2014.

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