Crown Court acquits Klarius directors

Manchester Crown Court cleared five current and past directors and managers of Klarius Products Ltd of charges of selling non-typed approved catalytic converters on 3 December. The case, which was brought by the DVSA, had alleged that between 01/02/2013 and 30/08/2015 the business of Klarius Products Ltd, carried on for fraudulent purposes, the marketing, distribution and sale of counterfeit and non-type approved catalytic converters.

However, after the Department for Transport investigated the claims made by competitors and investigated by the, all were formally acquitted before the trial even started. The Crown Court Judge is reported to have referred to a “shambolic failure” and ruled that no member of the team should stand trial.

Klarius self-reported problems in 2014 and worked with the VCA through to the end of 2015 to rectify production and administrative issues. The VCA found no intentional misconduct and praised Klarius for its co-operation, openness and unfettered access at all levels. In his ruling the Judge referred to individuals from two competitor companies who sought to make commercial gain from the situation.

The Department for Transport indicated that it could not pursue the case and invited the Judge to acquit all five defendants.

Paul Schofield, solicitor acting for Tony Wilson commented: “Today’s ruling marks the end of a case we have always maintained was completely misguided, unfair and inappropriate.”

Anthony Barnfather, a leading Manchester lawyer, also instructed in the case commented: “This is one of the most unjust prosecutions I have ever come across. After years of being wrongly accused the directors can now get back to business without a stain on their characters.”

Klarius Products manufactures Emission Control Products primarily the UK and EU markets. The business supplies type approved exhausts, CATs and DPFs designed, developed and manufactured in the UK and delivered via its own logistics operation. Klarius Products operations are centred on the manufacturing, R&D, test track, logistics and stock facility hub based in Cheadle. Other group companies include KMT machine tools and Emissco engineered fluids.

A month ago similar cases were successfully brought by the DVSA against different exhaust component manufacturing firms in the UK.

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