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Man makes mail theft claim

Man makes mail theft claim

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A 70-year-old Baptist Minister is saying that he will be having a blue Christmas this year, after alleging that money sent to him by his daughter in the United Kingdom went missing at the Postal Services Corporation in Kingstown.{{more}}

Jen Stapleton, who resides at New Montrose, lamented to SEARCHLIGHT on Thursday, December 11th, that on Monday, December 1st, he went to the post office in Kingstown, in search of a letter he expected from his daughter Albertha Boucher who resides in Tottenham, England.

“I go there on Monday (December 1st) and they tell me no letter. On Wednesday, when I go back, I meet a different lady who tell me no letter there for me. Then when I go back on Friday, I still didn’t get it.”

“Is not until last Monday (8th December) I meet the first lady and she gave me the letter.”

Stapleton recounted that when he received the letter from the postal worker, not only was it stamped as reaching St. Vincent since December 1st, but it was also stamped as having been received ‘soiled with gum’.

“When I get home I opened the letter and there was nothing in it.”

“I called my daughter and she started to cry because she said that she had put a letter with 250 pounds (approximately EC$998)in it.”

Stapleton said that he returned to the post office the following day and made a report about the damaged mail.

He said he was told by the postal worker that she did not ‘know nothing about that’.

Stapleton also claims to have made a report to the Criminal Investigation Department of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.

Although SEARCHLIGHT was unable to confirm that Stapleton made a report to the police, Assistant Director with responsibility for Operations at the Postal Corporation Jacqueline Ollivierre confirmed that Stapleton did make a report about the damaged mail.

Ollivierre said that there is no proof that the letter was tampered with at this country’s main post office.

“What grounds is the customer using to say it was tampered here?” she asked.

“Mail is handled by so many people in so many places before it gets here, it is uncertain to tell where it was tampered with.”

Ollivierre indicated that there is a special system in place when it comes to registered mail. She said the mailbag containing these letters and parcels is opened and sorted by junior and senior postal officers, under the watchful eyes of two plain-clothes police officers and two surveillance cameras.

Ollivierre also referred to the regulations of the Universal Postal Union, of which St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a member, which state that some things should not be sent in the mail; doing so would be at the risk of the sender.

Some of these items include alcohol, radioactive material, illegal substances, perishable items and, of course, cash.

“It does not mean that if you send cash in the mail that people in the post offices have a right to take it. It is just harder to prove that there was money in the envelope.”

Ollivierre noted that when there is a discrepancy about items missing from the mail, it is the duty of the sender to make a claim and not the recipient.

She also suggested that persons desirous of sending money in the mail should use postal orders or bank drafts, which would be easier to trace.

She also strongly recommended the use of money transfer services, one of which is also available at the post office.

Although Ollivierre admits that the allegedly missing cash could have disappeared anywhere at anytime, she has utmost confidence in the employees and system under her supervision.

“We are not irresponsible here; there is a system in place and I am confident that the system is not broken. If it is, it will be my duty to fix it.”

As for Stapleton, the father of 32 children, he said that his daughter indicated that she will be using the money transfer in the future, but until then, he is disappointed with the system.

“I am not feeling too happy about this right about now, but I will pray to the Lord because I know he will help.”