Mumbai: Post office staffer counterfeits stamps worth Rs 10 lakh

Police arrested assistant clerk Vinayak Chole from domestic airport post office, after he collected 40,000 copies of a stamp from a photocopy centre in Vile Parle

A 34-year-old assistant clerk, working at the domestic airport post office, was nabbed by officials from Vile Parle police station for possessing 40,000 counterfeit stamps worth Rs 10 lakh. The accused was identified as Vinayak Chole.

Vinayak Chole
Vinayak Chole

According to police, Chole worked at a small post office located at Terminal 1B. His job was to issue stamps — worth Rs 25 — to those wanting to send mails and parcels via flight. Depending on the weight of the letter or parcel, the number of stamps issued varied.

A photocopied sheet comprising multiple stamps
A photocopied sheet comprising multiple stamps

Modus operandi
A police officer said last week, Chole forged a letter bearing the postmaster’s signature requesting coloured prints of the stamp. After stamping the fake letter with the official seal, Chole went to a photocopy shop in Vile Parle.

After furnishing the fake, Chole asked the shopkeeper to print 40,000 stamps. However, the shopkeeper smelt a rat and approached the Vile Parle police. After receiving the information, the cops decided to lay a trap and nab Chole red-handed.

They asked the shopkeeper to print the stamps and ask Chole to collect them on Wednesday afternoon. As per the plan, Chole arrived at the shop and collected the stamps following which he was apprehended by cops in plain clothes.

Police Inspector Mahadev Nimbalkar said, “The accused will be produced in court on Thursday, where we’ll seek his custody. We suspect more people are involved in this case.

Chole has been booked under Sections 255 (counterfeiting government stamp), 465 (punishment for forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc.) and 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) of the Indian Penal Code.”

Rs 25
Cost of an original stamp

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