AUSTRALIA’S largest cosmetics brand, Honey Child, is being investigated for selling baby wipes, shampoo, deodorant and hair products to Bangladesh after the country experienced a humanitarian disaster.
Key points:A report by the company says it sold baby wipes to Bangladesh in a bid to help those affected by the recent floodsBuddy and his wife have been forced to live in a temporary accommodation in DhakaThe company is also investigating the products in the UK and USThe business was founded by Buddy Buddy and his partner, Amanda Smith, in 2007 and now employs over 150 people in Australia.
It is understood the Australian authorities are investigating the company after a report by its board of directors found that its baby wipes were being sold in Bangladesh in an attempt to help the people of Bangladesh who suffered from the floods.
It was reported by the ABC last week that the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has requested that the company be investigated by the Australian Federal Police for allegedly failing to follow the strict requirements of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
The Foreign Corrupted Practices Act prohibits foreign businesses and individuals from corruptly taking advantage of a foreign government or state.”DFAT is working closely with the Australian Government and our Australian partner on the investigation,” a DFAT spokesperson said in a statement.
The company has since removed the items from its website, but has not yet released a statement about what the investigation is about.
“We are deeply saddened and deeply disappointed that the items we sold in the country have been seized by the police,” Buddy Buddy said in the statement.
“Honey Child is an Australian company that has a global footprint, including overseas.
It has an established, long-standing and successful reputation for providing quality products to consumers around the world.”
Buddy Buddy and Amanda Smith (pictured) founded Honey Child in 2007.
The couple said the products sold in Australia were not made in Bangladesh and had been sent to Australia by a Chinese supplier.
“The products we sold to Bangladesh were made by a supplier in China that was not certified by Bangladesh, and we were unaware of the requirements for the certification,” they said in their statement.
“We are confident that all of the products we have sold are safe and will not cause any harm to our customers or our communities.”
The department said the Australian law enforcement agency was looking into the company’s activities and whether there had been breaches of Australian laws.
“At the moment, there is no evidence of wrongdoing,” a spokesperson for the department said.
“However, if there is evidence of unlawful conduct, the Department will take appropriate action, including a full investigation, as required by the law.”
The Australian Government said it was “working closely with Bangladesh to assist the people and communities affected by this humanitarian crisis” and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet was providing $25,000 to the organisation.
“This is a critical time for us as we respond to the devastating impacts of the devastating floods in Bangladesh,” a Department of External Affairs and Defence spokesperson said.
“In this time of heightened global uncertainty, we urge all Australians to use caution and follow the advice of the authorities.”