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Archived article from the October 2000 issue of Princely States Report

Fake Alert
- Ron Rice

"Fake Alert" [renamed "Forgery File"] will be an ongoing feature of PSR, delivering information on forgers and forgeries of Indian States stamps and coins. Our goal is to provide as much information as possible to assist philatelists and numismatists in the validation of their acquisitions. This includes information from news media about modern forgers, historical research on early forgers, comparisons of genuine items and known forgeries, and so on.

We're eager to communicate with anyone who has information about modern or contemporary forgeries. If you have materials that are not authentic, or if you have expertise in this area, please send an email to our Editor.

It's important to stay informed about the activities of today's counterfeiters (those who defraud the postal, commercial and administrative systems), because they are often the same individuals who forge collectable stamps and coins to defraud collectors. The following report appeared recently in The Hindu, India's national newspaper, regarding a major police arrest and seizure of counterfeit fiscal stamps and stamped papers. These forgers produced counterfeits of current revenue issues aimed at defrauding banks, insurance companies, etc.

The Hindu Monday, August 21, 2000
"Fake stamps, papers worth Rs. 10 cr. seized"
By a Staff Reporter

BANGALORE, AUG. 20. In a major operation that could have inter- State ramifications, the Bangalore City Police have seized fake stamps and stamp papers worth about Rs. 10 crores [ that's 100 million rupees -editor ] and arrested 10 persons who were part of a suspected nation-wide racket.

The city police said the stamp papers were said to have been supplied from Bombay, and hinted at the possibility of such fake stamps being under circulation in different parts of the country.

The Police Commissioner, Mr. T. Madiyal, told presspersons that the racket, said to be active in the State for nearly a year, was using at least 10 men to circulate fake stamps. They were using 10 two-wheelers for the purpose. The "king-pin" of the racket in Karnataka was Badruddin of Belgaum, he added.

Stamps and stamp papers, worth Rs. 9.91 crores, were recovered from the racketeers after raids on two premises in Bangalore. They included bank affidavit stamps, share transfer stamps, bankers stamps, revenue stamps, postal stamps, insurance policy stamps and court fee stamps.

All the 10 two-wheelers, a couple of pagers and a mobile phone are among the seized articles. Police also recovered Rs. 34.4 lakhs in cash [ over 3 million rupees -editor ], which was allegedly earned through sale of fake stamps.

The criminals' modus operandi was to approach banks and private and government institutions and convince them that they were genuine dealers and take orders for supply of stamps and stamp papers. But they delivered fake stamps and papers.

Their clients included National Insurance Corporation, UTI Bank, Bank of India, LIC, Graphite India Limited, Oriental Insurance Company, Sriram Chit Fund, Arvind Mills, BEL, ICDS, Tata Tea, Ashok Leyland, MICO, HUDCO and so on.

The racket was busted following a tip-off. Two persons, operating under the brand name "Sri Sai A Class Stamp Vendors," were arrested while allegedly transporting the fake stamps and stamp papers on Subedar Chatram Road on Saturday evening. They were carrying stamps and stamp papers worth Rs. 53.12 lakhs.

Following the information given by them, police raided their firm in Banakshankari, where they recovered stamps and stamp papers valued at Rs. 76 lakhs and Rs. 27,000 in cash. Several incriminating documents were also seized. On learning that the stamps and stamp papers had been stored in a godown, police raided a premises in R.T. Nagar, where they recovered stamps and stamp papers worth about Rs. 8.63 crores. The main accused, Badruddin alias Bhadru (24), was a resident of Kamath Galli in Belgaum and also had a house in AKB Cross, Dinnur Main Road, R.T. Nagar in Bangalore. Others arrested in the case were: Vithal (25) of Vidyanagar, Tilakwadi, Mohammad Ayub (28), Kenchanagalli, Sameer Fayaz (20), Darbar Galli, Kade Bazar, Javed Noor (26), Jatpat Colony, Vaibhavnagar, all Belgaum, Riyaz alias Riyan (27), Jayanagar, Anis Khan alias Anees (22), Wilson Garden, A. D. Chetan (21), Thagarajanagar, Rafi alias Rafi Ahmed (24), D. J. Halli, and Nauskhan (22) of Jayanagar, all from Bangalore.

The Chief Minister, Mr. S. M. Krishna, and the Home Minister, Mr. Mallikarjun Kharge, visited the office of the Commissioner of Police and had a look at the seized stamps and stamp papers. Mr. Krishna has announced a cash prize of Rs. 25,000 to the investigating team.

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