https://www.mylondon.news/news/uk-world ... d-17163761
The 43-year-old was caught when Royal Mail staff were alerted of his misdemeanour as he started using the stamps on his own post
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, of Sandway Grove in Birmingham, was caught when Royal Mail staff were alerted of his misdemeanour as he started using the stamps on his own post.
Ben Gow, prosecuting at Birmingham Crown Court, 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 or other organisations.
Adding that Khan would subject them "to a chemical process removing cancellation markings.
"He removed the glue from the back and dried them, effectively restoring them as close as possible to an unused state.
"He sold them on eBay at a significant discount, up to 50 per cent of their face value.
"Nevertheless that represented a significant profit to himself."
However, Khan "gave himself away" in a number of ways Mr Gow said, 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.
Khan was arrested on October 30 in 2018 following a search of his home.
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 stamped were found on the defendant's iPhone Mr Gow said, that showed that "He knew precisely what he was doing."
Judge Paul Farrer QC said whilst passing sentence that Khan on 3,000 occasions had sold stamps on eBay and had "acquired the expertise and equipment to wash them."
He continued: "I conclude this was a planned enterprise. It was designed and indeed did yield substantial sums.
"It caused very significant losses to Royal Mail and there was some element of sophistication."
Balbir Singh, defending, said Khan was a family man and a hard working man, who was trying to work round his family's needs.
Singh added that the defendant first created a business on eBay involving cakes, before coming across others who were selling stamps.