Supplier denies claim that he sold radioactive belts to Asos
Thursday 30 May 2013
The man named by online fashion retailer Asos as the supplier of radioactive belts claims they are not the ones he sent the company but says he has been refused permission to inspect them.
Asos recalled 49 belts across 14 countries early this year after US authorities pulled one later tested positive for radioactivity, according to an internal report by the retailer.
Faizan Haq, of Haq International, said he asked Asos to let him see the belts, which are being stored at a UK facility, because documents supplied to him do not match the description of the goods he sent.
He said he was told the facility did not have authorised staff available to let him enter the designated storage area until June 5, and later that he would not be allowed to inspect the belts personally as he had been deemed a security risk.
He said Asos was claiming more than £100,000 in recall charges, despite the actual value of the goods being £6,500.
He claimed that the incident had forced the factory in India to shut, with the loss of 18 jobs, as there was "no money and no work left", adding that Asos wanted Haq International to recover any losses from its suppliers in India.
He disputed a claim by Asos that it was working with Haq International to resolve the issue, adding that he had heard nothing since the issue was passed to the retailer's solicitors, who told him not to contact Asos directly.
A spokesman for Asos said regulations governing the UK facility prevented both itself and Mr Haq from personally inspecting the goods, but the date of June 5 had been set for representatives of both sides to see the belts.
He said Asos had incurred more than £100,000 in costs for instigating the recall and "had taken no proactive steps so far to pursue any sums on top of what it had withheld".
He added that it was "normal practice" for parties in such a case to seek to recover losses from their direct supplier.
He said Asos instructed solicitors only at the end of last week, saying it was also normal practice for legal teams to handle disputes on behalf of their clients.
According to the internal report by Asos, the leather belts could cause injury to the wearer if worn for more than 500 hours and are being held in a radioactive storage facility after testing positive for Cobalt-60.
Asos said the belts were recalled at the beginning of this year and all those who bought them had been contacted.
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