British Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

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norvic
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British Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by norvic »

At the end of November I reported the Charity Commissioners' warning to charities about aiding and abetting postal fraud by selling uncancelled stamps.

https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=84597

I did this because of the impact any reduction in charity stamp gathering and reselling as kiloware would have on both dealers and collectors in their hunt for, especially, higher value collectable stamps.

It's clear that eBay has a lot of listings for stamps which have passed through the post as they are stuck onto envelopes or waxed paper, and obviously not as sold by post offices. There are also evident forgeries - notably of the 1st class large business sheet stamps which have no year code, an impossibility for any of the red stamps.

Reuse of the occasional uncancelled stamp is not unusual, but BirminghamLive has reported on the case of a couple in their 50s who were literally laundering used stamps on a massive scale, as reported here.

These two were not just removing uncancelled stamps from paper using white spirit (a well-known trick), they chemically removed the postmarks, used talcum powder to dry the stamps and then sprayed them with hairspray to "make them look better"!

They "established a company called Stampbusters as a vehicle for the illegal enterprise which was registered to their home with both of them named as directors. The company was registered on Companies House.

"The value of the amount of stamps sold was £443,244 while the defendants profited to the tune of £149,344" over five years.

The defence lawyer said "there was a degree of unsophistication about it and that she had made no attempt to hide what she was doing."

So they - between them - made £30,000 per annum. It's not clear whether this is 'turnover' or profit - after costs of white spirit, other chemicals, gloves, talcum powder, eBay & PayPal fees, and presumably company taxes! It really does seem that the effort involved could have been put to better use and they could have earned a reasonable amount instead.

Now they have at least 12 months of a 2 year sentence in jail to contemplate a more honest occupation, but not one involving any trust.
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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term.

Post by Global Administrator »

Good to hear ... are there still 1000s of no gum Machins being flogged on ScamBay as news of this filters out?
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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by norvic »

Too soon to say, but it will be interesting to see if the tide turns. It needs more publicity than a bit in Birmingham. National tabloids need to take it up and have started to do so.

Meanwhile:

"BirminghamLive readers have reacted with shock to a couple who washed stamps and resold them going to jail - claiming far more dangerous crooks walk free."

Remarks like this are shown
Kate O’Really Faulkner: “Paedophiles corrupt politicians murderers rapists drug peddlers traffickers in human misery all go free. Nice work justice system”

Chris Webb: “I’m so happy and relaxed now these master stamp recyclers are behind bars. Much prefer a good old fashioned murderer or drug dealer or even a nonce walking free then the dreaded stamp washer’s

Jolie Louise Of course when it hurts the rich or big corporations, the law somehow comes in full force.”

Declan Byrne: “No sympathy for the guilty verdict but prison seems a bit OTT for their crime.”
Of course some people will whinge at anything, though it pains me that we taxpayers are feeding and housing this couple for 12 months.
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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by ViccyVFU »

I don't think this standalone conviction will turn the tide.

What it needs it to be picked up nationally, and a load of the actual users (i.e. customers of Stampbusters) to be convicted.

If you don't stem the demand, then all it will do is spawn 1,000 copycat smaller units, who have been given all the techniques by the detailed article.

It said that "they had used a chemical process to remove postmarks" .... that's surely a step up from the usual chancers "just peeling and recycling the unfranked items"?

eBay have the ability to recall all transactions made in this companies name ..... perhaps a few follow up visits to their repeat customers might help "discourage people"?..... although I realise the items themselves have probably long since been used up.

Two years is about right. Take their £150k haul (I'm assuming the £400k was face value) and divide it out by national average salary gives around five years tariff, so two years each is within sensible guidelines.

They must have processed around 800k unfranked stamps, and with all that white spirit swilling around, must be quite looking forward to twelve months off, before selling their side of the story to a National paper.

Maybe Proceeds of Crime should also seize their assets (House?) to help defray the costs of their incarceration. Like Norvic, I'd rather they were knocked back a few steps, than have all their benefits preserved for their release.

(Good to see the people of Birmingham all have their own take on what the laws of the land should be).

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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by fromdownunder »

norvic wrote:"BirminghamLive readers have reacted with shock to a couple who washed stamps and resold them going to jail - claiming far more dangerous crooks walk free."
That is really the thing. Getting arrested and jailed for screwing the Post Office is not going to go to the hearts and minds of people who mostly do not even use stamps any more anyway. They simply wonder what the fuss was about. After all, don't we all like to get back a bit at BIG GOVERNMENT.

Getting drug dealers is "sexy". Getting stamp fraud is not. I doubt that your average person, regrettable to all of us here as it is, is not going to get sympathy from Joe Public for being arrested for reusing stamps. They just think of a prosecution for this as a huge Government foot stamping on the face of the "little guy".

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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by norvic »

Members should remember that Royal Mail (the operations company that has been defrauded) is actually a private company, so not big government - but most people don't know and the rest don't care. That doesn't make it any better or worse, it is still fraud.
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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Quite right- fraudsters, whether of the Government or private companies, all affect the rest of us either by extra taxes or costs.

I have no time for drug dealers but you don't have to buy their product!
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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by traralgon3844 »

It would be fair to say that what got them into serious trouble was the removing of the postmarks. Royal Mail could go after any number of people re-using uncancelled stamps but obviously choose not to. There would be many people selling and using uncancelled stamps on a large scale and they go on doing so.

Here in Australia fraudulently removing a postmark is a serious criminal offence and I suspect that the same would be the case in the U.K.
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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by FairyFoot »

Fraud started in July 2013, but RM wasn't privatised until the October.

I think I saw this mentioned online on the Daily Mail website.

Side-stepping, I haven't been following the Post Office trial, but were any of the Horizon-affected convicted sub-postmasters found guilty for theft of less than the money that went through the hands of these two for their stamps.
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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by Temora22 »

traralgon3844 wrote:It would be fair to say that what got them into serious trouble was the removing of the postmarks. Royal Mail could go after any number of people re-using uncancelled stamps but obviously choose not to. There would be many people selling and using uncancelled stamps on a large scale and they go on doing so.

Here in Australia fraudulently removing a postmark is a serious criminal offence and I suspect that the same would be the case in the U.K.
Are there any statutory criminal provisions in Australia which specifically refer to removing postmarks? Do you know of any criminal prosecutions under any such provision which have resulted in convictions?

Regards,

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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by ViccyVFU »

Temora22 wrote:
traralgon3844 wrote:Here in Australia fraudulently removing a postmark is a serious criminal offence and I suspect that the same would be the case in the U.K.
Are there any statutory criminal provisions in Australia which specifically refer to removing postmarks? Do you know of any criminal prosecutions under any such provision which have resulted in convictions?

Regards,
Well, the Australia Criminal Code Act 1995, Schedule, section 471.4 explains the offence(s) .....

Image

I can see how Rod (on a separate thread about re-using FDC's as postage) might think there is a bit of wiggle room on FDC's "due to a possibly missing comma", but to me its as clear as day that obliterated stamps are a complete no-no, unless you had complete FDC's in unmarked condition, probably with a receipt (Evidential level of proof - that's quite specific).

Soaked off FDC stamps are just oblitered, so could never be used.

America has similar provisions: Federal offense (offence!)

Image

As to whether anyone ever gets prosecuted, well, this newspaper article seems to think not
https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/are-reused-stamps- ... ccc154b9aa

....... but AP would be well within their rights to begin prosecuting tomorrow, without any notice, so why take the chance?

Society, and especially social media, seem to think that fraud is a victimless crime, but its not.

Up to 12 months in jail for one stamp .... seems like our UK couple got a bulk deal on the other 799,999 offences!

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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by David Benson »

There are many Auction Houses in Australia which receive large quantities of kiloware from Charities which include clipped cancelled as well as many uncancelled.

What the buyers do with their purchases is not the responsibility of the vendors or Auction Houses but the buyers,

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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

The Australian Provision 471.4 a) seems quite odd. How do you "dishonestly" remove a stamp? Surely this should read "with dishonest intent"- even this could be challenged easily without further proof of subsequent dishonest use? (i.e. under 471.5).

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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by ViccyVFU »

David Benson wrote:What the buyers do with their purchases is not the responsibility of the vendors or Auction Houses but the buyers
Indeed. But increasingly in the UK they go to pains to point out "as collected", and add the words "believed all postally used" to cover themselves.

If they (or a dealer) sold an "enriched mix", containing only unfranked stamps, and used such choice phrases in their descriptions such as "the NVI are more valuable since the postage rate went up", then they could be charged with conspiracy to fraud, and although American rules includes "similar items of other nations" (i.e. UK postage stamps), I'm not sure is the Australian legislation is so encompassing.

Think of 471.4 as separating the unfranked item from previous use, with intent for re-use (i.e. dishonesty).

And 471.5 as the offence of re-use, obviously crystallised by dropping the item into the postal system without the correct pre-payment.

A stamp collector with a stock book full of unfranked items has committed no offence, unless they try to sell the unfranked items as "fit for re-use" (or actually try to use them themselves).

You can see why the Post Office might only be interested in scale on this offence - You hear of the odd pensioner with failing eyesight using an old stamp, but the costs involved in getting a prosecution, and the ill will generated on social media, is a self defeating victory.

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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by Allanswood »

OldDuffer1 wrote:The Australian Provision 471.4 a) seems quite odd. How do you "dishonestly" remove a stamp? Surely this should read "with dishonest intent"- even this could be challenged easily without further proof of subsequent dishonest use? (i.e. under 471.5).

It many countries it is quite common for someone to remove stamps before they have been posted to sell them on (or removal once lodged for postage). This causes a delay in the delivery of the original paid for item and usually a "more to pay" letter or card to the now aggravated sender who knows they attached the correct postage.

Now add to that a deliberate interference with someones particular (and validly paid for) mail, causing a missed delivery and missed financial gain or required deadline.
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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by PennyBlack1840 »

This is the tip of the iceberg, albeit quite a big operation it would seem. My thoughts in no particular order...

1) This was an intentional criminal fraud and the law has been applied. The aspect that makes it different is the chemical removal of the cancellations.

2) It is not an offence to sell uncancelled stamps without gum in the UK, BUT, it is a criminal offence to knowingly offer them for use as postage and indeed to use such stamps if you know that they have been previously used and are for whatever reason uncancelled, having been used for the purpose intended. Clearly in this case the law was manifestly broken.

3) Check flea bay and you will see many sellers offering stamps for study / checking, even adding these must not be used for posting, but people buy them all the time. If Royal Mail really want to stop this source of supply they should engage Ebay and get the sale of such items banned from the site and police any new listings and report all offending ones.

4) There is little point in terrorising charities for handling stamps cut off from envelopes, they are not the problem. Again Royal Mail have it within their grasp to sort this - simply cancel all stamps going through the mail properly, it is not rocket science!

5) Forgeries printed in bulk are a far more problematic issue for RM. These are often printed in eastern Europe and sold in bulk to corner shops etc. As a dealer I have been offered these in bulk (and declined them). The subsequent use of the stamps in certain geographical areas will sometimes lead the RM investigators to the source, but it is time consuming and we never hear of significant prosecutions over this.

6) Public attitude is understandable, this is seen as being an almost 'victimless' crime as Royal Mail (The Post Office - incorrectly) being the loser and a large body (and thus an acceptable target in public opinion) rather than the privately owned business that it is. This is compounded by a perception of a lack of activity regarding other types of crime, which (again) public opinion think should rank way ahead of this sort of thing. Easy to see why people think this way.

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Post by ViccyVFU »

Global Administrator wrote:Good to hear ... are there still 1000s of no gum Machins being flogged on ScamBay as news of this filters out?
norvic wrote:Too soon to say, but it will be interesting to see if the tide turns. It needs more publicity than a bit in Birmingham. National tabloids need to take it up and have started to do so.
I guess we'll only know if its getting better, if we snapshot what we see today (7th Jan 2019).

On eBay UK, searching for "unfranked" in the "QE2" category, you find around TWO THOUSAND listings. (Obviously not all are "no glue", but an awful lot appear to be).

Here's a typical one:

Image

500 stamps at 56p is £280 postage, sold for £79.95 (or 28.6% of face).

Note that they offer discounts for multiple purchases, but also "make an offer" option. They have sold 62 packets on this listing, 20 at their price, and 42 by "accepting offers received".

Image

No shopping around - this is the first one that caught my eye. (Better deals are probably possible).

Given their ebay and paypal fees, shipping costs, raw material costs, and labour costs, its going to be a fairly industrial operation.

Its still big business......

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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by pertinax »

norvic wrote:Members should remember that Royal Mail (the operations company that has been defrauded) is actually a private company, so not big government - but most people don't know and the rest don't care. That doesn't make it any better or worse, it is still fraud.
All I see is a company using the courts to sort out what is in essence them being too lazy to amend their practices to ensure all mail is properly cancelled (a requirement that is embodied in the rules of the UPU, BTW).

A bit like the way NSW Police have told petrol stations they no longer will be chasing up drivers who fill their tank and then drive away without paying, instead the stations should change the way they do business (by getting payment before the petrol flows).


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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term.

Post by fromdownunder »

ViccyVFU wrote:Here's a typical one:

Image

500 stamps at 56p is £280 postage, sold for £79.95 (or 28.6% of face).

Note that they offer discounts for multiple purchases, but also "make an offer" option. They have sold 62 packets on this listing, 20 at their price, and 42 by "accepting offers received".

Image

Its still big business......
What really gets to me is the size of the issue. The above, if I can count, is over 30,000 stamps from only one of the suppliers of "reusable" stamps. Who knows how many have been sold altogether, how many are still in stock, and how many never even make it as far as the marketplace (binned).

This really seems to be (as in Australia) a system failure of pretty epic proportion.

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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term.

Post by ViccyVFU »

fromdownunder wrote:What really gets to me is the size of the issue.
Yes, over 30,000 ... over a two week xmas period, from one supplier, on one pack size (500), on one value (2nd class), via one channel (eBay).

(N.B. When you buy commodity items on eBay, its quite common to receive an insert offering a discount "if future purchases are made direct" - via their website).

So this is a very small tip of a very big iceberg. Millions of stamps, millions of pounds per month.

All fully traceable "from" and "to", and all in plain daylight. If the PO put as many people onto investigating it, as this supplier put onto customer service to handle orders, then it could be stemmed quite considerably within a month.

Its very hard to kill the supply line on the internet. If eBay was closed down tomorrow, there would be a different route to market by Friday.

Spending thousands on PR, "warning the little person of the downside of getting caught up on all this" will never work. They need to grab the bull by the horns, cancel everything they deliver "from this second", and the supply of raw materials for this kind of activity would dry up within a few months.

Current focus appears to be on "charity supply of unfranked materials", but why pick on them (rather than office cleaners, or the SM ads "offering to buy")?

Remember that UK legislation for fraud is worded "knowing, or believing", and UPU regulations require that "items should be cancelled". For the naïve little person, "an unfranked stamp has never been through the post", so its always going to be quite a fruitless chase getting a conviction for single items, especially with the current public / social media attitude to fraud.

Maybe they will only take it seriously when their auditors require them to put a £250 million provision in the annual accounts for "costs involved in provision of service for previously used, but uncancelled, stamps"....... If they do not step up to the challenge, its not going to go away on its own.

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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Although criticising Royal Mail in the past for lax cancelling I noticed that every Christmas card envelope, from a domestic address, this year had been cancelled. Has anyone else noticed an improvement?

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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by norvic »

OldDuffer1 wrote:Although criticising Royal Mail in the past for lax cancelling I noticed that every Christmas card envelope, from a domestic address, this year had been cancelled. Has anyone else noticed an improvement?
from my blog
One of our correspondents regularly does a census of his incomings at Christmas to identify what efforts Royal Mail are making to cancel the stamps.

His results:
Total 47 items received.
7 no trace of passing through the mail and therefore uncancelled.
3 stamp not cancelled but trace of it going through the mail (Stamp in correct position but missed by cancellation)
Of the 37 cancelled, one was a postman’s felt tip pen.

10 out of 47 is 21% of the mail uncancelled: only 1 religious Christmas stamp was included.


I forgot to check ours but checked a bundle I was given by somebody else:

Leaving aside a nicely cancelled lighthouse from Norway...
18 had stamps postmarked (by machine)
2 had envelopes postmarked on another side, so missing the stamps. Neither of these had barcode on the stamps, nor biro
1 had no postmark at all, and had been pen-marked.
So only 2 our of 20 were let through, so not such a loss for Royal Mail.
Probably better than previous years, and several uses of the old Universal postmarking machine, as reported on the appropriate thread.
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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term.

Post by Global Administrator »

ViccyVFU wrote:
(N.B. When you buy commodity items on eBay, its quite common to receive an insert offering a discount "if future purchases are made direct" - via their website).

So this is a very small tip of a very big iceberg. Millions of stamps, millions of pounds per month.
DURRRHH .. seller gets the buyer full contact details. Their email address via PayPal no less.

All future transaction then are made direct - under the radar, out of sight.

Seller offers them a little bit cheaper than ebay, saving him the 10%-15% ebay/PayPal gouges and the crooks live happily ever after.

These low feedback ebay crooks like emma-smith77 know their account will be closed one day but still have all these illegal users contact details -

https://feedback.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback2&u ... llFeedback

Ditto this ebay spiv redldv -

https://www.ebay.com/sch/redldv/m.html?item=233048469788&Vie ... 6732.m1684
.
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Post by MargoZ »

As there has been a trial and the pair were convicted and sentenced the details are on the public record:

Wendy Baker, 55 and Dean Westwood, 56, from Birmingham

Believe it of not - this is a picture of the ''poor old pensioners....''
living it up on the proceeds of crime :roll:

Image

And if you have trouble believing me - here is the original Daily Mail article:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6560609/Couple-boug ... ailed.html

Ian picked up on this first but also covered in the January "Stamps in the News"
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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by Pampstamp »

Who knew there was so much money in stamps?

CON AIRMAIL Couple funded lavish lifestyle by washing 700,000 used stamps to sell as new on Amazon and eBay in £250,000 fraud

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10585076/couple-funded-lifestyle-in-700000-used-stamps-fraud/

Also made it on news.com.au in OZ

Transcript Below

A MAN has been jailed for washing 700,000 used stamps and selling them on as new as part of a £250,000 scam.

Working alongside his wife Samantha, the mastermind fraudster bought a BMW with a personalised number plate and took a holiday with the criminal proceeds.

Paul Harrison was jailed for four years for money laundering and supplying articles for fraud

Wife Samantha was convicted of money laundering at Birmingham Crown Court

The couple worked with Graham Rought, who washed off franking marks

Mr Harrison, from Barnsley, bought 700,000 used stamps, washed them so they appeared new, and sold them to unsuspecting victims on Amazon and eBay.

Appearing at Birmingham Crown Court, Paul Harrison admitted to money laundering and supplying articles for fraud, and was jailed for four years.

Samantha Harrison, convicted of money laundering, had her two year sentence suspended and was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.

An investigation started in February 2015, when a large number of envelopes were rejected in a Glasgow sorting office.

Tests showed that there was no phosphor on the stamps, and authorities traced them back to the Harrisons.

Phosphor is used on stamps because it shines under ultra-violet light, helping post office machines to sort the different types of mail.

When the couple’s home was searched, evidence of stamp washing was found.

Prosecutor Ben Close said in court: “This offence involves the obtaining and selling of large quantities of stamps which had already been through the postage system.

“They bought second hand stamps, removed from envelopes, and sold them on so they could be reused.

“Paul Harrison accepts he put them on grease proof paper to make them appear as if new.”

According to Mr Close, stamps and stamp related products were found “all over the address” alongside towels to dry them.

Mr Harrison worked alongside Graham Rought, who previously admitted to adapting, supplying and possessing articles for fraud and money laundering.

Mr Harrison would sometimes contact Mr Rought for advice on how to wash the stamps correctly.

In a bizarre twist to the case, Mr Close said: “There were some flirtatious exchanges between them because Rought thought he was speaking to Samantha Harrison.”

He was given an 18 months sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to do 85 hours of unpaid work.

Mr Close said Mr Rought, a former dental technician, had been a part of the fraud for two and a half years and “was involved in washing off the franking marks.”

Over £215,000 entered an account held by the Harrisons, and Mr Rought profited £43,000.

Paul Harrison’s actions cost the Royal Mail £421,000.

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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by MargoZ »

They are obviously really clamping down.
I reported another very similar prosecution in my latest Stamps in the News
https://www.stampboards.com/posting.php?mode=edit&f=13&p=6206024

Breaking bad in Britain
Reported at https://www.mylondon.news

A father of three has been jailed for more than two years for buying used stamps from charity shops, washing them and then selling them on eBay.

Mubashir Khan profited more than £100,000 through running the illegal stamp 'washing' business for two years from his home in Birmingham.

The 43-year-old was found to have 60 kilos of stamps at his property when it was searched by police.

Khan was caught when Royal Mail staff were alerted to his misdemeanour as he started using the stamps on his own mail.

The Crown Prosecutor said: "He was purchasing used stamps and he then adapted them so they would pass off as unused. He then sold to purchasers, primarily on eBay, between October 2016 and October 2018."

He explained that the defendant would make bulk purchases of first and second-hand stamps from charities and then subject them "to a chemical process removing cancellation markings.”

"He sold them on eBay at a significant discount, up to 50 per cent of their face value which, nevertheless, represented a significant profit to himself."

However, Khan "gave himself away" in a number of ways including using the washed stamps on his own parcels - some of which "looked pale".

Across the two years that Khan was illegally selling the 'washed' stamps, he gained £114,000 and sold the stamps with a face value of £241,000.

His fraudulent actions were uncovered after investigating officers from the Royal Mail made searches on eBay and then test purchases.

Besides the large quantity of stamps, police officers also discovered a large amount of chemicals and stamps in the process of being washed.

Text messages that included discussions about the stamps were found on the defendant's iPhone showing that "he knew precisely what he was doing."

The judge continued: "I conclude this was a planned enterprise. It was designed and indeed did yield substantial sums and caused very significant losses to Royal."

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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by traralgon3844 »

All 3 of the articles have a quote similar to the one below deep in the text.
He explained that the defendant would make bulk purchases of first and second-hand stamps from charities and then subject them "to a chemical process removing cancellation markings.”
That is where the real problem seems to lie.
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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by faro »

MargoZ wrote:They are obviously really clamping down.
If only, Margo!

Good to see they're obtaining a few results but eBay's still awash with "unfranked", regummed and forged UK stamps and they appear to do as little as they can to assist the Royal Mail; treating such matters as civil rather than criminal in my discussions with them, anyhow.

The Royal Mail's Stamps Intelligence department doesn't exude a positive impression either - showing a lack of urgency, apparent reluctance to take action or go the extra few yards to catch suspects even when the visible amount defauded is many tens of thousands of pounds.
MargoZ wrote:Khan was caught when Royal Mail staff were alerted to his misdemeanour as he started using the stamps on his own mail.
Not the first time someone's been caught due to excessive greed in this manner.

All too easy to circumvent, though, and once the stamps (cleaned or forged) are out in the wild, their ability to track back to source to obtain a prosecution appears to be very considerably reduced.

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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by 60022Mallard »

A couple from Barnsley have been convicted in the UK of defrauding Royal Mail out of £421,000 by "laundering" 700,000 stamps. He got 4 years, she got a 2 year suspended sentence and 150 hours of unpaid work.

Perhaps the unpaid work could be sorting stamps in to packets for a charity!

Perhaps a generally useful use of "community service" sentences!
Last edited by 60022Mallard on 21 Dec 2019 20:48, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by 22028 »

60022Mallard wrote:A couple from Barnsley have been convicted in the UK of defrauding Royal Mail out of £421,000 by "laundering" 700,000 stamps. He got 4 years, she got a 2 year suspended sentence and 150 hours of unpaid work.
Seems they got a full time job doing this..., 700000 stamps to wash, dry and to market...
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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by steevh »

If only they could be as assiduous in sorting out their accounting software...

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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by norvic »

steevh wrote:If only they could be as assiduous in sorting out their accounting software...
As a UK resident you should know that wha you have written is nonsense.

Accounting software problems - Post Office Ltd

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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by kreed »

It's fraud, on any level. I'm an Ebay trader & I do things by the book. What YOU do in life can make sure the mirror always reflects YOU.

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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by Global Administrator »

kreed wrote:It's fraud, on any level.
Exactly - prison sentences are a great deterrent. :!: :!: :!:
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Post by MJ's pet »

This would have to be Glen's favourite photo of all time on Stampboards. :lol: :lol: :lol: It's the gift that keeps on giving.

Just remember, even Wonder Woman was brought to justice:

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Post by MJ's pet »

Hilarious quote from the original Daily Mail article:
putting them on drying racks and spraying them with hairspray 'to make them look better.'
Let's hope Pampstamp doesn't get :idea: ideas :idea: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by gavin-h »

22028 wrote:
60022Mallard wrote:A couple from Barnsley have been convicted in the UK of defrauding Royal Mail out of £421,000 by "laundering" 700,000 stamps. He got 4 years, she got a 2 year suspended sentence and 150 hours of unpaid work.
Seems they got a full time job doing this..., 700000 stamps to wash, dry and to market...
They must have been the only people in Barnsley with full time jobs. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: British Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by MJ's pet »

:lol: At the risk of asking a silly question here, what character is the husband supposed to be?

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Re: British Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by ViccyVFU »

MJ's pet wrote::lol: At the risk of asking a silly question here, what character is the husband supposed to be?
Stavros Flatley

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Re: British Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by MJ's pet »

I had no idea who that was and had to google it :lol: :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mSPs8MYs44

Must be a British thing.

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Re: British Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by Global Administrator »

MJ's pet wrote::lol: At the risk of asking a silly question here, what character is the husband supposed to be?
A Cypriot Bogan. :mrgreen:
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Re: British Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by Princestamps »

Jail is excessive - what about punishing the people who bought and used the altered stamps?

What about cracking down on the hordes of Chinese fakers and others offering masses of counterfeit stamps on ebay?

Or more important yet, how about these postal authorities, corporations or whatever they call themselves actually force their staff and machines to cancel every piece of mail, so this can't happen. And use inks that can't be soaked off or bleached.

Of course the accountants and capitalists running these corporations won't as it will eat into their profits and 8 figure salaries and benefits :lol:
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Re: British Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by RobRoyH »

Six-Figure fraud deserves serious jail time.

If your grandmother lost all of her life savings to an investment scam, would you want the perpetrator to get slapped on the wrist?
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Re: British Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by MJ's pet »

There is something about this couple that is strangely familiar.

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Post by MargoZ »

Thanks for the breast enhancement!!

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Re: British Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by ViccyVFU »

MargoZ wrote:Thanks for the breast enhancement!!
Yes MargoZ,
but it appears the one on your right "is still much bigger than the other two" :D

I'm still unclear in this thread if the prosecution was for "chemical peeling unfranked stamps off envelopes", or whether it was "chemical removal of postmarks, off previously franked stamps".

As you know, the Press often don't know what they are talking about, so use phrases which, to specialists "have significance"

UK law is quite specific about "knowing or believing them to be used" for the offence to be committed, so if it was the former (just a peel off old envelopes), its going to be quite hard to get a conviction on "circumstantial indicators" of a subsequent user.

That's why they go after the processing plants, rather than individuals, who may well be "innocent" (by legal definition).

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Re: British Stamp laundering = 2 year jail term in the UK.

Post by norvic »

Princestamps wrote:Jail is excessive - what about punishing the people who bought and used the altered stamps?
One case against the processor/perpetrator, rather than multiple cases against the users who ”didn’t realise that they were not unused stamps”, which may or may not result in a conviction.
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