Friday, September 21, 2007

Forged Cards, Stolen Books at Indian National Library

The Calcutta Telegraph reports today that administrators at India's National Library "have stumbled upon 500 forged membership cards, allegedly issued by a section of employees. The scam follows an exposé of a racket, also involving employees, that smuggled out several rare books."

"The recipients of the forged cards [which have numbers already assigned to actual patrons] are mostly foreign nationals, who come on a short visit to the city for research. 'Instead of going through the elaborate process of enrolling as a member, they find it convenient to bribe employees and obtain forged cards. The racket has been active for quite some time,' [an anonymous Library] official said."

A previous media report ("Priceless periodicals pilfered") revealed that "some employees were smuggling out copies of the rare Bengali periodical Kallol, making photocopies and selling them. Most of the originals are yet to reach [i.e. be returned to] the shelves."