|Bela Sekula (Szekula) was born on 8 Feb 1881 in Budapest. He moved
from Hungary to Geneva, Switzerland in 1902, and was even then branded
“a notorious dealer… given to blackmailing.” (Mekeel’s Stamp Collector)
After a number of fraudulent offerings he fled unpaid bills in Geneva and
returned to Budapest in 1904. Continuing his printing of forgeries, many
of South America countries, he showed up at Lucerne by 1916, where he sold
unused Belgian stamps that had been stolen by Germans.
Sekula obtained the plates of the 1919 Animal and Rulers issue of
Ethiopia, presumably by an agreement with J. A. Michel,
and printed set of 1931 reprints. These
he advertised as “guaranteed genuine” stamps, used and unused, including
a variety of errors including imperforate, centers inverted or missing.
The Union of Swiss Philatelic Societies branded these reprint-forgeries,
and forced Sekula to discontinue the advertising in 1938.