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Cash stolen in post - do I have any comeback?


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I wonder if I could get some help with my latest detective project.


My sister sent me €200 from Cyprus for my birthday. She did this as she cannot transfer funds out of Cyprus. She sent it by "registered post" which I guess is equivalent to our recorded/signed for delivery. It cost her €2.24 and has 3 bar coded strips on the envelope.


I received this today and when I opened the envelope, the taped-up card containing the money had been opened and nothing was in it. On closer inspection the main envelope looks to have been steamed open and resealed using brown tape and old style airmail stickers. My sister confirms she did not seal it this way.


Although sent recorded, my postman handed me the mail and did not ask for a signature. I went to the local sorting office and they said it was strange, but they did not have a log of the recorded item and I am becoming very suspicious about this. They suggested I speak to the manager tomorrow morning and want to prepare myself. The sorting of the letter from Cyprus to me, I assume, would have been handled by machines with minimal human intervention, and that's why I believe it happened since arriving at my sorting office, however, I am not totally sure. My sister has known the post mistress in Cyprus for 25 years, but the envelope has three barcoded stickers, two are identical stickers, one of which I would have thought needed to be retained at the sending post office.


My sister is my closest living relative and survives on a widow's pension that has been reduced by the Cypriot government.


I am so, so angry, out of all proportion to the problem, but I cannot believe some wretch of a human being could do this. I lost my 19 year old dog two weeks ago and it seems one thing after another.


I have spoken to Royal Mail and my sister has to start things from her end as the sender. If I sent a letter by registered post/special delivery from the UK I would be insured for the full amount and if I sent it recorded, substantially less. However, this is if the letter is lost. What is the situation when the contents are stolen?


Thanks for any advice.




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Some items that are sent from abroad that people think are registered/special delivery are classed as recorded delivery by Royal Mail.


Only special delivery/registered are kept separate from the normal postal system.


Normal recorded and normal mail will be put into the mechanized system when the arrive into the UK.


Those foreign recorded delivery still need to be scanned by the postman's PDA, delivered or not, or it is a conduct code issue


Unless the item was insured in some way, you have no redress. The people who work in the registered lockers at delivery offices are very senior, and would have worked for Royal Mail for a number of years.


i can say it will be a fact that you need to look elsewhere besides the registered locker.


With the amount of temporary and not full time staff royal mail are recruiting , and the high turn over of these staff, i would be looking that the problem may stem at point of delivery

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Thanks Squaddie, I think by the amount paid (£1.80ish) it's got to be recorded delivery, so not handled by the registered post handlers.


I am right in thinking the only time it was open to theft was at the post office in Limassol and my local sorting office here? Are places like Mountpleasant fully automated?






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Thanks. So, if I understand correctly, when the van(s) arrives at the sorting office with the day's mail it is automatically sorted to the various postman's routes and they sort it into a delivery sequence that best suits them? So, in theory, if Cyprus is up to speed, only two post officers have handled the letter and had the opportunity to tamper with it?

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The mail that comes into the delivery office comes in trays. Those tray get put direct onto the postman's frame as the are sequenced as the frame is laid out. These items of mail would have been sequenced at a mail centre or direct in the delivery office called a mail processing unit. Very few items of mail are now sorted by hand


The items that come into the country have to be cleared by customs first (Mount pleasant)


The items of mail are then sent to a mechanized mail centre near to where you live where they are sequenced. The mail is then transported direct to the delivery office


The foreign postal operator is the obvious week link along with the point of delivery in the UK

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Yes, I suppose if it passes through several hands in Cyprus the risk is there. Western Union now until the banks over there sort themselves out.


Many thanks with all the expert advice.

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