French customs authorities have destroyed tens of thousands of smuggled toys – just days before Christmas.
Officials say the items – mainly soft toys – came into Europe illegally from China and were deemed to be unsafe.
The 25,000 toys were seized in the autumn
and were part of an annual surge in the run-up to Christmas.
“We’re vigilant about toys throughout the year
but from the end of August, because imports ofChristmas toys start at the end of August, we
are extra vigilant and we strengthen our
controls into December,” said Caroline de
Saussure, a customs inspector.
Two trucks full of toys were emptied into a
giant disposal unit at a depot outside of Paris, before a giant crane lifted them to an
incinerator to be destroyed.
The toys were seized following an investigation. According to officials, they entered Europe from China through Belgium.
The toys were said to be destined for street
markets, not conventional toy shops.