First Successful Prosecution Of Illegal Tanning Operators

The Department of Health and Human Services has successfully prosecuted the operators of an illegal tanning salon run firstly from a business premises and then from a private home in Bundoora.

This is the first prosecution since the Victorian ban on commercial tanning commenced in 2015.

In the Heidelberg Magistrates Court today Clare Zahra and Tropical Sun Industries Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to multiple charges of conducting a commercial tanning practice from a business premises and then a Bundoora house.

Clare Zahra also pleaded guilty to breaking seals on tanning beds in a Heidelberg shop and one charge of providing false information.

In a related matter, Jason Zahra pleaded guilty to one charge of breaking the seals that had been applied to tanning units located in a Heidelberg shop by the department to prevent their use in early 2015.

He was also found guilty of one charge of hindering the Department’s authorised officer in the course of his duties during a search in August 2015.

The company and Mr and Mrs Zahra were convicted and fined a total of $68,500 and ordered to pay the department $10,000 in costs.

The majority of the charges related to evidence collected by the Department of Health and Human Services in multiple searches of a Bundoora property in August and October, 2015.

Four commercial tanning units were seized during the October 2015 search.

Anyone who has information about alleged illegal solariums should contact the Department of Health and Human Services at radiation.safety@dhhs.vic.gov.au or on 1300 767 469.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“Solariums are deadly cancer machines and that’s why they are banned in Victoria.”

“We take breaches of these laws extremely seriously, and today’s outcome should be a warning for any rogue operators out there who think they can get around the ban.”

“Any person or organisation who tries to go underground should expect to feel the full force of the law, and people thinking of using a backyard solarium should do so at their own peril.”