Post Office Offences Act


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DA

Post OffiGe Offences (CAP. 336

CHAPTER 336

T H E POST OFFICE OFFENCES ACT

Arrangement of Sections
Section

1. Short title.
2 . Interpretation.
3 . Evasion of postage. -.

4. Officer of the Post Office opening or delaying post letters
- misdemeanour.

5. Officer of the Post Office, stealing, embezzling,
secreting, or destroying post letters - felony.

6. Stealing from, or out of, post letter - felony.
7. Stealing post letter bag or post letter or stopping post

messenger - felony.
8. Receivers of stolen goods, &c.
9. Fraudulent or wilful secretion or detaining of post let-

ter - misdemeanour.
10. Criminal diversion of letters from addressee.
11. Officer of Post Office stealing, secreting, destroying, de-

taining, &c., printed matter sent by post -
misdemeanour.

12. Inciting to offences under this Act - misdemeanour.
13. Property to be laid in Her Majesty.
14. Prohibition of imitation of Post Ofice stamps, envelopes,

forms and marks.
15. Prohibition of fictitious stamps.
16. Prohibition of false notice as to reception of letters.
17. Forgery and improper disclosure of telegrams.
18. Saving clause as to liability.

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Post Office Offences (CAP. 336 3

POST OFFICE OFFENCES

(3 1st December, 1878.) 2/1878.
6/1951.

S.R.O. 22/1956.
15/1961.
1811989.

1. This Act may be cited as the Post Office Offences Short title.
Act.

2. In this Act- Interpretation.

"post letter" means any letter or packet transmitted
by the post under the authority of the Postmaster,
and a letter shall be deemed a post letter-from the
time of its being delivered to a post office to the
time of its being delivered to the person to whom
it is addressed; and the delivery to a letter-carrier,
or other person authorized to receive letters for the
post, shall be a delivery to the Post Office, and a
delivery at the house or office of the person to whom
the letter is addressed, or to him, or to his servant
or agent, or other person considered to be authoriz-
ed to receive the letter according to the usual man-
ner of delivering that person's letters, shall be a
delivery to the person addressed; and

"post letter bag" includes a mail bag or box, or packet,
or parcel, or other envelope or covering in which
post letters are conveyed, whether it does, or does
not, contain post letters.

3. (a) If any person shall fraudulently get off or,;;:;: of
remove, or cause or procure to be gotten off or remov-
ed, from any letter or cover, or any paper or other
substance or material, the stamp or impression of any
die, plate, or other instrument lawfully provided, made,
or used in any post office in Antigua and Barbuda, with
intent to use, join, fix, or place such stamp or impres-
sion for, with, or upon any other letter, cover, paper,
or other substance or material; or

(b) If any person shall fraudulently use, join, fix,
or place for, with, or upon any letter or cover, or any
paper or other substance or material, any such stamp

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

4 CAP. 336) Post Office Offences

or impression, as aforesaid, which shall have been got-
ten off or removed from any other letter, cover, paper,
or other substance or material; or

(c) If any person shall fraudulently erase, cut,
scrape, discharge, or get out of or from, or shall cause
or procure to be so erased, cut, scraped, discharged,
or got out of or from, any letter or cover, or any other
substance or material, any name, date, or other matter
or thing thereon written, printed, or expressed, with
intent to use any stamp or mark then expressed or be-
ing upon any such letter or cover, paper, or other
substance or material, or that the same may be used
for the purpose of defrauding the revenue; or

(6) If any person shall make, do, or practise, or
be concerned in, any other fraudulent act, contrivance,
or device whatever, not specially provided for by this
Act, with intent or design to defraud the revenue; every
person so offending in any of the several cases in this
section mentioned shall forfeit and pay to Her Majesty
the Queen, Her Heirs and Successors, the sum of one
thousand dollars, to be recovered with full costs of suit
and all expenses attending the same.

Officer of the
Post Office

4. Every person employed in the execution of any Act
opening 01 in force in Antigua and Barbuda, relating to the regulation

post and management of the Post Office, who shall, contrary to
letters -
misdemeanour. his duty, open, or procure or suffer to be opened, a post

letter, or post letter bag, or shall wilfully detain or delay,
or procure or suffer to be detained or delayed, a post letter,
shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and shall suffer such
punishment by fine or imprisonment, or by both, as to the
Court shall seem meet:

Provided that nothing herein contained shall extend to
the opening or detaining or delaying of a post letter returned
for a want of true direction, or of a post letter returned by
reason that the person to whom the same shall be directed
is dead or cannot be found, or shall have refused the same
or shall have refused or neglected to pay the postage thereof,
or of a post letter returned by reason of the same, at the
time of posting the same, not having thereon, affixed thereto,
a stamp or stamps to the value or amount of the proper
postage thereof, or to the opening or detaining or delaying

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Post Office Offences (CAP. 336 5

of a post letter in obedience to an express warrant in writing
under the hand of the Governor-General.

5 . Every person employed in the execution of any such Officer of the
Post Office Act as aforesaid who shall steal, or shall, for any purpose

whatever, embezzle, secrete, or destroy a post letter, shall embezzling,
be guilty of felony, and shall be liable to be imprisoned for ~ e ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o s t
any term not exceeding two years; and, if any post letter letters - felony.
so stolen or embezzled, secreted or destroyed, shall contain
therein any chattel or money whatsoever, or any valuable
security, every such offender shall be imprisoned for any
term not exceeding four years.

6. Every person who shall steal from or out of a post Stealing from,
out of, post letter

letter any chattel, or money, or valuable security, shall be - felony.
guilty of felony, and shall be imprisoned for any term not
exceeding four years.

7. Everv Derson who shall steal a ~ o s t letter bac. or Stealing post , . ", letter bag or post a post letter from a post letter bag, or shall steal a post letter letter or
from a post office, or from an officer of the Post Office, or post messenger

- telony.
shall stop any person having the custody of any post letter
bag, with intent to rob or skarch the same, shall be guilty
of felony, and shall be imprisoned for any term not exceeding
four years.

8. With regard to receivers of any property sent by Receivers of
stolen goods, &c.

the post and stolen therefrom, every person who shall receive
any post letter or post letter bag, or any chattel or money
or valuable security, the stealing, taking, or embezzling or
secreting whereof shall amount to felony under any such Act
as aforesaid, knowing the same to have been feloniously
stolen, taken, embezzled, or secreted, and to have been sent,
or to have been intended to be sent, by the post, shall be
guilty of felony, and may be indicted and convicted either
as an accessory after the fact or for a substantive felony, and,
in the latter case, whether the principal felon shall, or shall
not, have been previously convicted, or shall, or shall not,
be amenable to justice; and every such receiver, however

\ convicted, shall be liable to be imprisoned for any term not
exceeding four years.

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6 CAP. 336) Post Offi Offences

Fraudulent or
wilful secretion
or detaining of
post letter -
misdemeanour.

Criminal
diversion of
letters from
addressee.

Officer of Post
Office stealing,
secreting,
destroying,
detaining, &c.
printed matter
sent by post -
misdemeanour.

Inciting to
offences under
this Act -
misdemeanour.

9. Any person who shall fraudulently retain, or wil-
fully secrete, keep, or detain, or, being required to deliver
up by any officer appointed under any such Act as aforesaid,
shall neglect or refuse to deliver up a post letter which ought
to have been delivered to any person, or a post letter bag,
or post letter which shall have been sent, whether the same
shall have been found by the person secreting, keeping, or
detaining, or neglecting or refusing to deliver up the same,
or by any other person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour,
and shall be liable to be imprisoned for any term not
exceeding three years.

10. (1) If any person not employed in the execution
of any such Act as aforesaid wilfully and maliciously, with
intent to injure any other person, either opens or causes to
be opened any post letter which ought to have been delivered
to that other person or does any act or thing whereby the
due delivery of the letter to that other person is prevented
or impeded, he shall be liable on summary conviction to a
fine not exceeding three thousand dollars, or to imprison-
ment for any term not exceeding six months.

(2) Nothing in this section shall apply to a person who
does any act to which this section applies where he is parent
or in the position of parent or guardian of the person to whom
the letter is addressed.

1 . Every person employed in the execution of any
such Act as aforesaid who shall steal, or shall, for any pur-
pose, embezzle, secrete, or destroy, or shall wilfully detain
or delay in course of conveyance or delivery thereof by the
post, any printed votes or proceedings in Parliament, or any
printed newspaper, or any other printed paper whatever,
sent by the post without covers or with covers open at the
sides, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and shall suffer
such punishment, by fine or imprisonment, or by both, as
to the Court shall seem meet.

12. Every person who shall solicit, or endeavour to
procure, any other person to commit a felony or a mis-
demeanour punishable under this Act, or any such Acts as
aforesaid, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and shall be
liable to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years.

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Post Office Offences (CAP. 336 7

13. In every case where an offence shall be commit- Property to be
ted in respect of a post letter bag, or of a post letter, or any laid Majesty. in Hcr
chattel or money or valuable security sent by the post, it
shall be lawful to lay, in the indictment presented against
the offender, the property of the post letter bag, or of the
post letter, or any chattel or money or valuable security sent
by the post, in Her Majesty; and it shall not be necessary
in the indictment to allege, or to prove upon the trial or
otherwise, that the post letter bag, or any such post letter,
or valuable security, was of any value, and, in any indict-
ment to be preferred against any person, employed under
any such Act as aforesaid, for any offence committed under
this Act or any such Act as aforesaid, it shall be lawful to
state and allege that such offender was employed in a post
office in Antigua and Barbuda at the time of the committing
of such offence, without stating the nature or particulars of
his employment.

14. (1) NO person shall, without due authority- Prohibition of
mit tat ion of Post

(a) make, issue, or send by post or otherwise any zf,";;::''~;~~
envelope, wrapper, card, form, or paper in imitation and marks.
of one issued by, or under the authority of, the
Postmaster, or an; foreign postal authority, or the postal
authority of Antigua and Barbuda or of any other part
of the Commonwealth, or having thereon any words,
letters, or marks which signify or imply, or may
reasonably lead the recipient to believe, that a post letter
bearing the same is sent on Antigua and Barbuda
Government Service; or

( 6 ) make on any envelope, wrapper, card, form,
or paper, for the purpose of being issued or sent by post
or otherwise, or otherwise used, any mark in imitation
of, or similar to, or purporting to be, any mark of any
post office under the Postmaster, or under any foreign
postal authority, or under any postal authority of any
part of the Commonwealth, or any words, letters, or
marks which signify or imply or may reasonably lead
the recipient thereof to believe, that a post letter bear-
ing the same is sent on Antigua and Barbuda Govern-
ment Service; or

(c) issue, or send by post or otherwise, any
envelope, wrapper, card, form, or paper so marked.

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

8 CAP. 336) Post Office Offences

(2) Any person who acts in contravention of this sec-
tion shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not
exceeding one hundred dollars.

Prohibition of 15. NO person shall-
fictitious stamps.

(a) make, knowingly utter, deal in, or sell any
fictitious stamp, or knowingly use, for any postal pur-
pose, any fictitious stamp; or

(b) have in his possession, unless he shows a lawful
excuse, any fictitious stamp; or

(c) make or, unless he shows a lawful excuse, have
in his possession any die, plate, instrument, or materials,
for making any fictitious stamp.

Any person who acts in contravention of this section
shall be liable, on summary conviction, on a prosecution by
order of the Governor-General to a fine not exceeding one
thousand dollars.

Any stamp, die, plate, instrument, or materials found
in the possession of any person in contravention of this sec-
tion may be seized and shall be forfeited,

For the purposes of this section, "fictitious stamp"
means any facsimile, or imitation, or representation, whether
on paper or otherwise, of any stamp for denoting any rate
of postage, including any stamp for denoting a rate of postage
of any Commonwealth or foreign country.

Prohibition of
false notice as to

16. (1) No person shall, without authority from the
reception of Postmaster place or maintain in or on any house, wall, door,
letters. window, box, post, pillar or other place belonging to him

or under his control, any of the words, letters, or marks
following (that is to say)-

(a) The words "Post Ofice," or "Postal Telegraph
Office," or

(b) The words "Letter Box," accompanied with
words, letters, or marks which signify or imply, or may
reasonably lead the public to believe, that it is a Post
Office letter box; or

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Post Office Offences (CAP. 336

(c) Any words, letters, or marks which signify or
imply, or may reasonably lead the public to believe,
that any house or place is a post office, or that any box
is a Post Office letter box;

And a person when required by a notice given by the
Postmaster, to remove or efface any such words, letters, or
marks, as aforesaid, or to remove or effectually close up any
letter box belonging to him, or under his control, which has
been a Post Office letter box, shall comply with such request.

(2) Any person who acts in contravention of this sec-
tion shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not
exceeding one hundred dollars, and, if the offence is con-
tinued after previous conviction, to a fine, not exceeding
fifteen dollars, for every day during which the offence so
continues.

17. (1) Every person who forges or wilfully and :2~;~:d
without due authority, alters a telegram, or utters a telegram, d;,,los,,e of
knowing the same to be forged or, wilfully and without due
authority, alters, or who transmits by telegraph as a telegram,
or utters as a telegram, any message or communication,
which he knows to be not a telegram, shall, whether he had,
or had not, an intent to defraud, be guilty of a misdemeanour,
and shall be liable on summary conviction, to a fine not
exceeding five hundred dollars, and, on conviction on
indictment, to imprisonment for a period not exceeding twelve
months.

(2) If any person, being in the employment of a
telegraph company as defined by this section, improperly
divulges to any person the purport of any telegram, such
person shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and be liable, on
summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding one thousand
dollars, and, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment
for any term not exceeding one year, or to a fine not
exceeding ten thousand dollars.

(3) For the purposes of this section-

"telegram" means a written or printed message or com-
munication sent to, or delivered at, a post office,
or the office of a telegraph company, for transmis-

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

10 CAP. 336) Post Office Offences

sion by telegraph, or delivered by the Post Office,
or a telegraph company, as a message or com-
munication transmitted by telegraph;

"telegraph company7' means any company, corpora-
tion, or persons carrying on the business of sending
telegrams for the public, under whatever author-
ity, or in whatever manner, such company,
corporation, or persons may act or be constituted;

"telegraph" means a wire or wires used for the pur-
pose of telegraphic communication, with any casing,
coating, tube, or pipe enclosing the same, and any
apparatus connected therewith for the purpose of
telegraphic communication, and, in addition to the
meaning aforesaid, means and includes any
apparatus for transmitting messages or other com-
munications by means of electric signals.

Saving clause as
to liability.

18. This Act shall not exempt any person from any
proceeding by indictment, or otherwise, for an offence which
is at common'law, or under any Act other than
this Act, so that no person be tried or punished twice for
the same offence.

When proceedings are taken before any Court against
a person in respect of an offence under this Act, which is
also an offence punishable at common law or under some
Act other than this Act, the Court may direct that, instead
of such proceedings being continued, proceedings shall be
taken for punishing such person at common law or under
some Act other than this Act.

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