Post office manager sacked for embezzling ¥130 million in stamps

By SoraNews24

The post office isn’t normally the place one would look to find cunning capers and high stakes intrigue. Even Japanese post offices that double as banks, seem to somehow drain all the excitement out of sitting on a bunch of money.

Maybe that’s why Taisuke Kawasaki allegedly thought it’d be a perfect place to get his fingers sticky with stamp glue to the tune of 130 million yen.

▼ News report on the crime

Kawasaki was a manager at a Japan Post branch in Naka Ward of Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture. There he could easily see that in instances where companies sent a large amount of mail at once, rather than attaching a stamp to each piece, the stamps are simply purchased and then disposed of.

According to the Osaka Prefectural Police, around September of 2017 Kawasaki got the idea to simply keep the stamps for himself rather than tossing them. He would then sell them to what are called “ticket shops,” stores that specialize in the resale of certain items such as transportation tickets, gift certificates, and postage goods.

He allegedly did this until June of 2018, cumulatively pocketing roughly 130,000 1,000-yen stamps that had already been bought, all valued at about 130 million yen. However, since ticket shops would pay below cost for the resale he is said to have taken home about 120 million.

Also, according to NHK, the buyer or buyers were in the far-away prefecture of Saitama and the stamps were sent by Kawasaki from Osaka. This raises the question of whether he was bold enough to have used Japan Post to send them or simply resorted to a courier.

Either way, it would seem that the thrill of reselling stamps blinded Kawasaki to the sheer size of his crime, which allowed it to be detected in an audit of his branch by the National Tax Agency last July. In the ensuing police investigation, Kawasaki is said to have admitted to the embezzlement. He was terminated from his job and criminal charges have been filed.

The Japan Post branch also issued a statement apologizing and promising that it will take measures to prevent such a crime from occurring again. Readers of the news responded to their promise with a unanimous, “Well, yeah… What’s wrong with you?!”

“That’s a messed up system for stamps.”

“This is essentially money, so why is there no system of checking the disposal?”

“Wow, they make 1,000-yen stamps?!”

“This is just the tip of the iceberg, surely.”

“Are stamps even necessary in this day and age?”

“This is probably happening a lot. This guy just got too greedy and got caught.”

Sources: NHK News Web, Yomiuri Shimbun, Golden Times

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Japanese Twitter user finds a use for leftover stamps, sends the internet into a laughing fit

-- After years of stomping on enemies, Nintendo’s Mario becomes a stamp series in Japan

-- Every Ghibli movie poster is part of this beautiful postage stamp set going on sale this month

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Quite a bonus

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Post Office needs to stamp out these types of crimes.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

He better hope he doesn’t get sent away for a long time, I suppose he’ll find out post-trial what his punishment is. Better not push the envelope until it’s delivered though.


12 ( +12 / -0 )

I can only assume all countries consider stamps currency? I know in the US they are and theft is a federal crime. (I worked at a stamp printing company and they did random body searches on employees to make sure no one was taking home stamps.)

5 ( +5 / -0 )

He should have done a runner to a country without an extradition treaty with Japan.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Other countries have these things called "franking systems"...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"“This is just the tip of the iceberg, surely.”"

I won't comment as carping, cause every time I do, some patriotic apparition in my apt, will start vexing me.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A bus driver would have to accept that as legal tender.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes, the crime committed in such a dirty fashion should be stamped out once and for all.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Did he post bail?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japan is the only country in the world where I have to buy ¥1 stamps. I hope he didn’t have to sell 120,000,000 of them...

i know a guy who when he got his first color printer, made his own scanned stamps. They worked because I still have a letter from him.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wonder how the audit worked - how did they match up the numbers to see the disparity?

Interesting story.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Obviously too much time on his hands

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He sure is a dumb bunny.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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