FOUR people involved in an unlicensed clothes collecting operation in Bedwas have been order to pay more then £1,000 to Caerphilly County Borough Council, following a 16 month investigation.

A council statement said the prosecution of MP Global Trading Company Ltd was taken under the House-to-House Collections Act 1939, which requires businesses carrying out house-to-house charity collections to be licensed by the local authority.

The court action was taken after complaints were made regarding collections being made in Bedwas in July 2012. Vladas Kairaitis, of Blackwood, was arrested and charged with collecting clothing without a licence, and was convicted at Caerphilly Magistrates’ Court on 11 October 2012.

Sutton Coldfield-based MP Global Trading Company Ltd and its director Phillip Michael King, also of Sutton Coldfield, pleaded guilty to promoting Kariaitis’ collection at Caerphilly Magistrates’ Court on 25July 2013.

David Thomas Rawlinson, a manager employed by MP Global Trading Company Ltd, was convicted in November at Newport Magistrates’ Court.

All four defendants were given conditional discharges ranging from 12 to 24 months, and ordered to pay a total of £1,281 costs to the council.

Cllr David Poole, cabinet member for community and leisure services, said: “It is imperative that charity clothes collections are controlled in order to limit the opportunities available to unscrupulous traders to commit fraud. Licences are only issued to collectors who are acting on behalf of bona fide charities.

"Collection licences exist to protect the consumer and ensure that their donations are reaching the intended cause."