Statement from the UPU Spokesperson on the letter addressed to Pope Francis containing bullets

Abidjan/Bern. The following is a brief statement from the Spokesperson of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the UN specialized agency on postal matters, on the bullets discovered by postal workers at a mail sorting office in a suburb of Milan, Italy

“The discovery by postal workers of bullets addressed to Pope Francis shows that Posts are not simply the deliverers of mail, they are on the frontline when trying to keep the public safe.

Every day, courageous postal workers, who process billions of letter and parcels annually, risk handling bullets, bombs or even deadly drugs.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, brave postal workers all over the world continued to keep the mail moving and to benefit societies and economies.

On behalf of the UPU, I warmly congratulate the postal workers who discovered the bullets and called the police.”

According to newspaper reports, on 9 August, police announced that postal workers at a sorting facility in the town of Peschiera, Borromeo, near Milan, had discovered three pistol bullets in a letter addressed to Pope Francis. Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

The Universal Postal Union is currently holding its Universal Postal Congress in Abidjan, Côte d' Ivoire from 9-27 August. The event brings together the heads of designated postal operators, ministers, regulators, civil society, UN agencies and the media to discuss every aspect of the international postal sector. At the 9th August opening ceremony of the Congress, the UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein observed a minute of silence for the postal workers who lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The Universal Postal Union is a UN specialized agency with its headquarters in the Swiss capital Berne. Established in 1874, it is one of the world’s oldest international organizations and is the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players.

For further information on the speakers and the programme of the Ministerial Conference 2021, please go to:

For media enquiries, please contact:
David Dadge
Manager, Communication and Events Programme
Universal Postal Union (UPU)
Executive Office Directorate
T +225 566 994 973 (9-27 August)
E-mail: david.dadge[at]