LONDON (AFP) – Two companies from China and France have been ejected from an international arms fair in London for promoting illegal items, organisers said on Wednesday.
DSEI, which claims to be the world's leading defence and security fair, said Tianjin Myway International Trading Co. and Magforce International had been found "with literature in breach of British law".
Caroline Lucas, a member of parliament for the Green party, said the firms were promoting handheld projectile electric shock weapons, weighted leg cuffs and stun batons.
She had earlier raised the issue in the House of Commons, saying the two companies "have been promoting illegal weapons of torture".
"It's frankly disgusting that items like this are being promoted at a supposedly legitimate trade event in Britain," Lucas added.
DSEI later announced the companies' staff had been ejected and their stands removed from the exhibition centre.
"We can confirm that the Tianjin Myway International Trading Co. and Magforce International have been ejected from DSEI having been found with literature in breach of British law," organisers said in a statement.
They said that the British government department responsible for enforcing the law at the event, HM Revenue and Customs, "did not identify the compliance breaches in question".
"DSEI takes the issue of compliance very seriously and once we became aware that Tianjin Myway International Trading Co. and Magforce International had breached British law, their stands were immediately shut down and their staff ejected from DSEI," they said.
"The literature in question has been confiscated and passed to HMRC for further investigation. DSEI's compliance team is also looking into the matter further."
MagForce International was unavailable for immediate comment.
The three-day arms fair was opened on Tuesday by British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, who highlighted the important ties between the industry and the government.
However, the biennial exhibition is always a target for campaigners who claim some of its 1,500 exhibitors manufacture items used in human rights abuses.