Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Inspection Service Preserves Trust

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is mandated to safeguard the entire Postal Service system — from the more than 546,000 employees who process and deliver the U.S. Mail to the millions of customers who use it daily.
  • One of the country’s oldest federal law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service has a long, proud and successful history of protecting the Postal Service, securing the nation’s mail system and ensuring public trust in the mail.
  • Postal Inspectors arrested more than 5,500 suspects for crimes involving the mail or against the Postal Service in 2011. About half of the arrests involved mail theft and more than 750 involved mail-related fraud.
  • Postal Inspectors arrested 83 suspects in conjunction with Operation Homeless, which targeted mail thieves who recruit homeless people to cash stolen checks. Victim losses exceeded $7 million.
  • Postal Inspectors are members of the Identity Theft & Economic Crimes Task Force, national and state Joint Terrorism Task Forces and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, among others. They work closely with the financial service, airline and mail order industries to maintain America’s confidence in the U.S. Mail.
  • To quickly respond to incidents such as natural disasters, the Postal Inspection Service has 18 mobile command centers and a mobile mail-screening station ready for action.
  • Postal Inspectors deploy state-of-theart screening equipment designed to identify hazardous substances and suspicious items in the mail and to ensure safety at postal facilities while keeping the mail moving.
  • In 2011, Postal Inspectors responded to more than 3,550 incidents involving suspicious items, substances, powders or liquids in the mail or at postal facilities. Of those incidents, 212 involved improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
  • Postal Inspectors seized $13.1 million in proceeds related to illegal drugs from the mail in 2011.
  • Postal Inspectors participated in Operation Due North, a multi-agency effort targeting criminal networks specializing in telemarketing and lottery fraud. This initiative resulted in disrupting 11 major criminal networks operating out of Montego Bay, Jamaica. A large amount of cash and dozens of high-value items were seized and 14 suspects were arrested.
  • The Inspection Service participated in national mail fraud initiatives with the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. The Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fraud Initiative focused on fraudulent claims related to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Operation Empty Promises focused on business opportunity fraud initiatives targeting small businesses and work-at-home schemes.
  • Postal Inspectors intercepted over 5 million foreign lottery mail pieces containing counterfeit checks totaling over $675 million.
  • In 2011, Postal Inspectors seized approximately 143,000 counterfeit postal and non-postal money orders worth nearly $155 million mailed to the U.S. from criminal groups.
  • Postal Inspectors participated in National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) in March 2011, holding over 600 events nationwide. The national theme “Your Information Destination” highlighted consumer education resources. Over 375,000 pounds of documents were shredded for consumers in conjunction with the NCPW event.
  • Postal Inspectors, investigating those who use the mail to sexually exploit children, identified more victims under the age of 5 than in previous years. In 2011, courts ordered more than $1 million in restitution to child victims identified by Postal Inspectors during these investigations, a 100% increase over the previous year. 

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