Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Machin 1st Class ( gold ) Forgeries

Looking through some stamps this morning I came across a booklet of 12 x 1st class gold which are described as forgeries. A question I was asking myself is " where did these 1st class gold Machin forgeries hail from"?

I have read somewhere that it was thought at first that these were or could have been printers waste. Or alternatively may have been manufactured as a nefarious exercise at Walsall Security Printers. I have also read that Wallsall denied this hole- heartily.

I have found couple of reports that suggest they were manufactured either in Eastern Europe or China. How true this is I can not make up my mind. Report one states categorically in a court of law that they came from China

Report one

A counterfeit stamps dealer from Bordesley Green who sold them to newsagents and corner shops in the city was jailed for four months.

Majid Raza, 27, of Whitacre Road, sold more than 9,000 stamps with a value of £2,736, Birmingham Crown Court heard. In passing sentence on Raza, Judge John Saunders QC said: "I am afraid people have to know that if they deal in counterfeit stamps or coinage that prison sentences will almost inevitably follow."
He said "although dealing in bogus stamps was not on the same level of seriousness as passing on counterfeit bank notes, it was not far away and that people who did it were extremely difficult to catch".

John Dove, prosecuting, said "the West Midlands had been flooded with a vast quantity of fake stamps imported from China and normally distributed in booklets of 12 to newsagents and corner shops".

He said investigators acting on an anonymous tip-off found that a Yardley shopkeeper had 243 bogus stamps who said he had bought a batch for £400 and named Raza as his regular supplier. When Raza's home was searched police found bundles of fake stamps and a receipt book revealed he had sold more than 9,000 with a value of £2,736. The defendant admitted obtaining stamps from a cousin's shop in Erdington and selling them to other shops.

Report two

This account is from the website of stamp collector.

"These stamps are for sale and are listed as "Unknown source, although I have had it hinted to me that these are of Eastern European origin. The images (above ) show a Real Walsall booklet on the top row and the forged book on offer on the bottom row".

It continues: " The stamps are a very pale almost "grey" shade instead of the normal Walsall "deep brown", the matrix is complete and the Phosphor bands extend to the top of the booklet. The cover is very dull - no shine at all, the blind cut out is missing or at least only partly there. Lastly you can see the booklet is much wider than the "original" booklet at the top" .

I have also found a 3rd report on Larry Rosenblums website : This is just a portion of it.

The Philatelic Exporter, a UK trade magazine, reported last year that police raided a home and seized over £100,000 worth of counterfeit first-class stamps. The booklets now being sold to collectors were probably part of the same production, but that hasn’t been confirmed.

Of interest is the fact that the raid took place in a town close to Walsall, the home of Walsall Security Printers, one of the firms that prints Machin booklets today. In fact, the forged booklets include the name “Walsall Security Printers Limited” on them, just like the real ones. Coincidence?

You can read the full report here

If anyone has any more information on these stamps, the origin, or for that matter any reports on 2nd class forgeries, could you please comment to this post. Thanks in advance.


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