Monday 26 June 2023

Cigarette smuggler found with unusual forged stamps - Manchester Evening News

An interesting story from the Manchester Evening News concerning some forged stamps.  These didn't make it to market, but did any others?

'Breadwinner' with 'good work ethic' caught smuggling 800 sheets of fake stamps into Manchester Airport

Border Force guards have smashed a plot by a computer science student to smuggle more than £40,000 worth of counterfeit postage stamps into Britain.

Officers stopped 42-year-old UK-based father-of-three Ogbehudia Adun at Manchester Airport after he hid almost 800 sheets of fake first and second class stamps under clothing in his luggage. Initially, Adun claimed the stamps were ''invitations'' but he later admitted acquiring the fake items from his native Nigeria to sell on the black market in Britain.

He came back to the UK via Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris and aroused suspicion due to the number of suitcases in his possession. He was also found to be carrying an excessive number of duty free cigarettes. Royal Mail’s security investigators were handed the stamps and later confirmed that they were counterfeits of the £1.75* Marine Turquoise and £2.55 Garnet Red stamps first issued by the Royal Mail in 2020 and 2017 respectively. 

Genuine £2.55 stamp


“Border Force Officer James Pattison opened the bag where he found four, what appeared to be cardboard packages sealed with tape. The packages were beneath some clothing, but otherwise had not been concealed.

“Officer Pattison opened the packages and found what appeared to him to be counterfeit stamps. The paper appeared to be of poor quality and lacked the perforated edges that are normally seen on genuine Royal Mail stamps."  (My emphasis.)

The contents of the packages included, 577 sheets containing 13,848 £2.55 stamps (24 to a sheet!) and 195 sheets each containing an unspecified number of £1.75* stamps.


In mitigation, Patrick Williamson said, “The defendant had limited involvement. It is my understanding that he met someone in Nigeria who asked for a favour from him, that being taking a parcel of stamps through customs.

“He realises now that this was a foolish decision, and when he got to France, he realised the error of his ways. He has expressed remorse to me, especially because of the effect it has had on his family.

''He shares the caring responsibilities with his partner and was the breadwinner of the family.

“He has a good work ethic and has worked consistently since he first came to the country from Nigeria 12 years ago. He has recently started a computer science course at a college in Leeds city centre and he currently brings home around £1400 a month.”

Adun, of Bodmin Road in Leeds, West Yorkshire, admitted possession of articles in use for use in fraud and was ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and complete 15 rehabilitation activity days as part of a 12 month community order. He must also pay the court £500 in costs.


* The numbers don't add up (assuming the turquoise green are in sheets of 24) and there are no pictures of the stamps.   I suspect the error is that these are actually £1.70 stamps.  

I've not heard of a £1.70 forgery, but thought I had seen a reference to the £2.55 being forged, though I can't now find it.  

If these are 'lacking the perforations' then they may be like the England £1.33 that was found a few years ago with no perforations, simply rouletting between the stamps.  

Maybe these were produced for another mailing scam (as were the £1 brown) and that this seizure is the entirety of the production.  Maybe not.  If anybody has any further information please let me know.



  1. I believe this type are favourite used on bulk overseas marketing scams and seldom seen in the postage market . The Nigeria aspect works well with this , however given the lack of joined up sense , only the tip of the iceberg has been badly delt with .... the rest will help sink the ship.

  2. There are some Nigerian definitives 20 naira antelope and 50 naira bridge which were extensively forged in Nigeria by private firms.


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