Illegal stamps (labels purporting to be real stamps) remained in the news in 2004. The International Bureau of the Universal Postal Union continued its announcements of labels that UPU member countries deem to be not their issues. In February, for the African nation Benin, the UPU issued a 30-page list.
In January, dealer Algiras Satas of Lithuania (Conquest Trading Co.), seller in 2002 of the witty Island of Freedom labels picturing the South Korean soccer team, was booted out of a stamp show in Hong Kong for offering items the show organizers deemed to be illegal stamps.
In July, the editors at Scott Publishing Co. announced they still would not be listing new issues of Liberia, even though in spring a Liberian minister mailed a flurry of stamp-bearing envelopes to Scott and to Linn's. The 2000 edition of the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, published in 1999, was the last edition to list any new Liberian stamps.
Something begins to move in the domain of illegal stamps. Please see below the e-mail that the PWO received from Mr. Knud Mohr, the President of the FIP, answering our inquiry of July 13, 2002.
Dear Mr Victor Manta,
Thanks for your mail and for your information about PWO and your activities against illegal stamps.
For your information, I enclose the letter which the UPU on behalf of WADP and its partners have sent to the Organising Committee of PHILAKOREA 2002.
I believe you find it talks for itself and that whatever action needed in the fight against illegal issues will be used.
With my best regards
(July 14, 2002)
NO Illegal Issues of Postage Stamps at Philakorea 2002
Berne, 12 July 2002
International Bureau, Fax
PHILAKOREA 2002 Organizing Committee
154-1, Serin-dong, Jongno-gu
Fax : +82 2 2195 1485
Presence of standholders selling illegal stamps at PHILAKOREA 2002
Dear Mr. Oh:
I am writing to you on behalf of the World Association for the Development of Philately (WADP)*. It has been brought to the attention of the WADP that certain standholders may be planning to sell illegal stamps at PhilaKorea 2002. The WADP wishes to reiterate its conviction that the production, distribution and sale of illegal stamps have a serious negative impact on Posts and the philatelic market as a whole. That is why the WADP calls on all industry participants to do everything possible to curb this illegal practice.
To this end, the WADP urges the PhilaKorea Organising Committee to deny exhibition access to any standholder found offering illegal stamp issues for sale.. Furthermore, at the request of the International Federation of Philately (FIP) and the International Federation of Stamp Dealers Associations (IFSDA) the WADP wishes to advise that dealers who offer for sale illegal stamp issues at philatelic exhibitions will be barred from participating in future FIP exhibitions and IFSDA-sponsored philatelic events.
The WADP is in contact with other philatelic exhibition organisers who have had negative experiences with certain standholders. We will be pleased to bring to your attention any information we receive on this subject, should you so wish.
We wish PhilaKorea 2002 every success.
More information about the illegal issues can be obtained directly from the UPU, Mrs. Maria Libera.