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VOLUME: XVII
BOTSWANA POSTAL SERVICES
CHAPTER: 72:01

Part:X Offences and Penalties (ss 46-61)

 

46.     Forging stamps, dies, etc.

 

            Any person who without due authority or lawful excuse, the proof of which shall lie upon him-

     (a)     makes, alters, imitates or imports or assists in making, altering, imitating or importing any postage stamp, date stamp, card, envelope, wrapper cover or any money order, postal order, postal draft or savings bank warrant or any other warrant or order for the payment of money through the Post, or acknowledgement of deposit or any form or paper similar to that used or made under the authority or for the purposes of this Act or by any postal authority, or uses, issues, offers, exposes for sale, sells, deals in, sends by post or disposes of or has in his custody or possession any such postage stamp, date stamp, card, envelope, wrapper, cover, money order, postal order, postal draft, savings bank warrant or any other warrant or order, acknowledgement of deposit, form or paper, knowing it to have been made or altered or to be an imitation contrary to this section;

     (b)     engraves or in any manner makes upon any plate or material any stamp, mark, figure or device in imitation of or resembling any stamp, mark, figure or device used or made for the purposes of this Act or by any postal authority, or sells, disposes of, purchases, receives or has in his custody or possession any plate or material so engraved or made;

     (c)     makes or assists in making or has in his custody or possession any mould, frame or other instrument having thereon any word, letter, figure, mark, line or device peculiar to paper provided, used or made for any postage stamp or for any other purpose of this Act or by any personal authority;

     (d)     makes or assists in making or has in his custody or possession any paper in the substance of which appear any word, letter, figure, mark, line or device peculiar to paper provided, used or made for any postage stamp or for any other purpose of this Act or by any postal authority, or makes, purchases, sells, disposes of or receives or has in his custody or possession any paper provided or made for the purposes of being used for any postage stamp or for any other purposes of this Act or by any postal authority before the same has been issued for public use;

     (e)     makes use of any stamp, dye, plate or paper engraved or made for the purposes of this Act or by any postal authority, or sells, disposes of, purchases, receives or has in his custody or possession any paper or material whatever bearing an impression or mark of any such stamp, dye, plate or paper; or

     (f)      makes on any envelope, wrapper, card, form or paper any mark in imitation of or similar to or purporting to be any official stamp or mark used for the purposes of this Act or by any postal authority, or any word, letter, device or mark which signifies or implies or may reasonbly be regarded as signifying or implying that any article bearing such word, letter, device or mark has been or is entitled to be sent through the post,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine of P2 000,00 and to imprisonment for 5 years, and any stamp, dye, plate, paper, instrument or other material found in the possession of such person in contravention of this section shall be seized and forfeited to the State.

 

47.     Removing marks from stamps, etc., with intent to defraud

 

            (1) Any person who, with intent to defraud-

     (a)     removes from an article sent by Post or from a document used for the purposes of this Act any stamp which has been affixed thereon, or wilfully removes, either actually or apparently, from any stamp which has been previously used, any mark or impression which has been made thereon at any post office, or knowingly utters, issues or uses any stamp or any part thereof which has been so removed or from which any such mark or impression has been removed;

     (b)     erases, cuts, scrapes, defaces, obliterates or otherwise discharges or removes from, either actually or apparently, or in any manner adds to or alters any mark or impression upon, a money order, postal order, postal draft, savings bank warrant, or other order or warrant, or acknowledgement of deposit, paper or other material provided, used or made for the purposes of this Act or by any postal authority;

     (c)     makes, does or practises or is concerned in any other act, contrivance or device for which no specific penalty is provided, or attempts unlawfully to evade payment of any of the rates, fees or duties payable under this Act,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine of P200,00 and to imprisonment for 6 months.

            (2) For the purposes of this Part the sender of a postal article shall, unless the contrary is proved, be deemed to be the person by whom any postage stamp upon that article was affixed.

            (3) In any proceedings in respect of an offence under this section the burden or proving an absence of intent to defraud shall lie on the accused.

 

48.     Offence in connection with carriage and delivery of mail

 

            Any person authorised to receive or in any way to handle mail who-

     (a)     negligently loses or wilfully detains, delays, misdelivers or omits to dispatch any mail (whether or not the same is afterwards recovered or delivered) or communicates or divulges the contents of any postal article;

     (b)     while in charge of any mail, leaves it, or suffers any person, not being the guard or person employed for that purpose, to travel in the place appointed for the guard in or upon any conveyance carrying the mail, or to travel in or upon any such conveyance not authorized to carry passengers or upon any horse or other animal conveying that mail;

     (c)     is guilty of carelessness, negligence or any misconduct where the safety of any mail is endangered;

     (d)     while in charge of any mail is intoxicated or loiters or wilfully misspends or loses time so as to retard the arrival of the mail at its proper destination within the time fixed for its arrival, or does not use due care and diligence to safely convey the mail at the due rate of speed;

     (e)     gives false information of any assault or attempt at robbery upon him; or

     (f)      without due authority, collects, receives, conveys or delivers any postal article otherwise than in the ordinary course of post,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine of P200,00 and to imprisonment for 6 months.

 

49.     Fraudulent, injurious and offensive practices in connection with postal articles and premises

 

            (1) Any person who-

     (a)     with intent to defraud, puts into any post office anything purporting to be a postal article within the exemptions specified in this Act, or any postal article purporting to belong to a class, in respect of which a lower rate of postage or no postage is chargeable, or insufficiently stamped which if sent alone would be liable to postage;

     (b)     with intent to defraud, puts into any post office any article in or upon or with which there is any communication, intelligence, character, figure, number, mark, matter or thing not allowed by this Act or by any other law, or wilfully subscribes on the outside of any posted article or otherwise a false statement of the contents thereof;

     (c)     puts into any post office any article in which or with which or upon which there is any indecent or obscene matter, or anything of a profane, defamatory or grossly offensive character;

     (d)     without due authority, the proof of which shall lie upon him, places or paints anything whatsoever upon, or wilfully injures, disfigures or tampers with any post office or any card, notice or other property of or used by or on behalf of the post, or commits a nuisance on or against any post office or against or upon such card, notice or other property;

     (e)     detains, secretes or keeps any mail or postal article which ought to have been delivered to another person or which has been found by himself or by any other person; or

     (f)      by false representation induces any officer to deliver to him or to any other person any postal article not addressed to or intended for either of them,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine of P200,00 and to imprisonment for 6 months, without prejudice to any right the Director General may have of proceeding civilly against any person convicted under paragraph (d) for compensation for such damage as may have been caused by him.

            (2) In any proceedings in respect of any offence under paragraph (1)(a) or (b) the burden of proving an absence of intent to drafraud shall lie on the accused.

 

50.     Placing of dangerous or noxious articles and stoppage of mail

 

            (1) Any person who-

     (a)     sends in or with any postal article or puts into or against any post office any fire, match or light or any explosive, dangerous, filthy, noxious or deleterious matter or thing or any matter or thing which is likely to injure or damage any post office, person or mail;

     (b)     steals any mail or steals from any mail or post office or from the possession or custody of any officer, or for any purpose embezzles or fraudulently secretes or destroys any postal article or any of the contents thereof;

     (c)     receives any mail or postal article or any of the contents thereof knowing the same to have been stolen, embezzled or fraudulently secreted or to have been sent or intended to be sent by post; or

     (d)     stops any mail with intent to rob or search such mail, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine of P2 000,00 and to imprisonment for 7 years.

            (2) The Board may make bye-laws exempting from the provisions of this section noxious or deleterious matter sent in the interests of public health or justice in accordance with such requirements as it may prescribe.

 

51.     Tampering with mail

 

            Any officer who otherwise than in pursuance of his duty opens or tampers with or wilfully destroys, makes away with or secretes or suffers to be opened or tampered with, destroyed, made away with or secreted any mail or postal article, and any person who opens or tampers with or wilfully destroys, makes away with or secretes any mail shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine of P2 000,00 and to imprisonment for 5 years.

 

52.     Wilfully obstructing or delaying mail

 

            Any person who wilfully interferes with the conveyance of any mail or through whose act or neglect the conveyance of any mail is interfered with shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine of P200,00 and to imprisonment for 6 months.

 

53.     Wilfully opening or delaying postal articles

 

            (1) Any person, not being an officer, who wilfully opens any postal article which he knows ought to have been delivered to another person, or knowingly does any act or thing whereby the due delivery of that article to such other person is prevented, obstructed or delayed, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine of P200,00 and to imprisonment for 6 months.

            (2) Nothing in this section contained shall apply to any person who does any act to which this section applies where that person is the parent or in the position of parent or guardian of the addressee and the addressee is a minor under 16 years of age or a ward.

            (3) No prosecution under this section shall be instituted except by the direction or with the consent of the Director General.

 

54.     Unauthorized use of words "Post Office", "Botswana Mail", etc.

 

            Any person who, without the authority of the Director General, the proof of which shall lie upon him-

     (a)     places or maintains or suffers to be placed or maintained, or to remain in, on or near any place belonging to him or under his control the word "Post Office" or any other word or mark which may imply or may give reasonable cause for believing that place to be a post office; or

     (a)     places or maintains or permits to be placed or maintained or to remain on any vehicle or vessel the words "Botswana Mail" or any other word or mark which may imply or may give reasonable cause for believing that such vehicle or vessel is used for the conveyance of mail,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable be to a fine of P200,00 and to imprisonment for 6 months.

 

55.     Unauthorized entry of premises, obstruction of business, and refusal to comply with regulations

 

            (1) Any person, not being an officer, who without the express permission of the Director General or of an officer having authority to give permission, enters any part of a post office in which is carried on any of the operations in respect of which an oath of secrecy is required to be taken by officers, or whilst in any post office, wilfully obstructs the course of business of the post or behaves in a disorderly manner or who wilfully obstructs, hinders or delays any officer in the execution of his duty, or who fails to comply with any regulations which have been issued, or by-laws to secure the comfort and convenience of the public or the safety of the premises, and which state that failure to comply therewith shall be an offence, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine of P200,00 and to imprisonment for 6 months.

            (2) An officer may require any person committing an offence under this section to leave the post office in question immediately, and any such person who fails to comply with such a requirement may be removed by any officer, and any member of the police force shall on demand by an officer remove or assist in removing any such person.

 

56.     Frauds in connection with money orders, etc.

 

            Any person who with fraudulent intent issues, re-issues, utters or presents to any person or at any post office any money order, postal order, savings bank warrant or other warrant, order or document for the remittance, payment, collection or deposit of money through or with the Post, or transmits through the Post or otherwise any letter or other communication concerning any money order, postal order, savings bank warrant or other warrant, order or document for the remittance, payment, collection or deposit of money through or with the Post, shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction there of shall be liable to a fine of P2 000,00 and to imprisonment for 5 years, and in any proceedings in respect of any offence under this section the burden of proving an absence of fraudulent intent shall lie on the accused.

 

57.     Personating officers of the Post with fraudulent intent

 

            Any person who, with fraudulent intent, personates or represents himself to be an officer of the Post shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine of P800,00 and to imprisonment for 2 years.

 

58.     False declaration

 

            Any person who in any declaration prescribed by this Act makes a false statement knowing the same to be false shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine of P400,00 and to imprisonment for 6 months.

 

59.     Attempting to commit or procuring commission of offences

 

            Any person who attempts to commit any offence under this Act, or solicits, or authorizes or endeavours to employ, cause, procure, aid, abet, incite or counsel any other person to do anything the doing whereof is an offence under this Act, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to the same punishment as if he actually commited the offence.

 

60.     In criminal proceedings, etc, property in postal articles, money, money orders, etc, may be laid in Director-General

 

            In any prosecution for any crime or any offence committed in respect of the Post or of any mail or any property, moneys, money order, postal order or other document authorized to be used for the purpose of remitting, paying, collecting or depositing money through or with the Post, or with respect to any act, deed, matter or thing which has been done or committed with any malicious, injurious or fraudulent intent relating to or concerning the Post or any such mail, property, moneys, money order, postal order or other document, it shall be sufficient-

     (a)     to allege that any such mail, property, moneys, money order, postal order or other document belongs to or is in the lawful possession of the Director General and to put the same in evidence, and it shall not be necessary to allege or prove the same to be any value;

     (b)     to allege that any such act, deed, matter or thing was done or committed with intent to injure or defraud the Director General without setting forth his or any other name, addition or description whatsoever; and

     (c)     if the offender be an officer, to allege that the offender was an officer of the Post at the time of the committing of the offence without stating the nature or particulars of his employment.

 

61.     Evidence: acceptance of official marks

 

            In any proceedings for the recovery of any sum payable under this Act in respect of a postal article-

     (a)     the official stamp or mark thereupon denoting the sum due shall be prima facie evidence of the liability of that postal article to the charge specified thereon; and

     (b)     the production of any such postal article having thereon a post office stamp or mark denoting that the article has been refused or that the person to whom the same is addressed is dead or could not be found shall be prima facie evidence of the fact denoted.