Abdul Karim Telgi
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Abdul Karim Telgi
|Died||23 October 2017 (aged 56)|
|Occupation||stamp paper counterfeiter|
|Criminal penalty||30 years rigorous imprisonment.|
Abdul Karim Telgi (1961-2017) was a convicted Indian counterfeiter. He earned money by printing counterfeit stamp paper in India. He died suffering from multiple organ failure in Bengaluru on 23 October 2017.
Telgi's mother was Shariefabee Ladsaab Telgi, and his father was an employee of Indian Railways. His father died while he was young. Telgi paid for his own education at Sarvodaya Vidyalaya Khanapur, an English medium school, by selling fruits and vegetables on trains. Eventually, he moved to Saudi Arabia. Seven years later, he returned to India, at which time he began a career in counterfeiting, originally focusing on fake passports. He started a business to export manpower to Saudi Arabia and opened a company, Arabian Metro Travels at New Marine Lines. He used to create a number of fake documents that would facilitate labourers’ smooth passage at the airport even if their passport had an ECR (emigration check required) stamp or other issues that could raise red flags for immigration officials. This practice was called “pushing” in the parlance of manpower exporters.
Telgi moved to more complex counterfeiting when he began to counterfeit stamp paper. He appointed 300 people as agents who sold the fakes to bulk purchasers, including banks, insurance companies, and stock brokerage firms. The size of the scam was estimated to be more than ₹100 billion (US$1.4 billion)  One aspect of the scandal that caused much concern was that it required the involvement of many police officers and other government employees including Nikhil Khotari. An Assistant Police Investigator was found to have a net worth of over ₹1 billion (US$14 million), despite making a salary of only ₹9,000 (US$130) per month. Several police officers were implicated in the case. Pradip Sawant, then Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Branch, Mumbai, was discharged but subsequently reinstated after being found innocent. Then police officer S M Mushrif, known for the book Who killed Karkare took decisive measures on this case.
On 17 January 2006, Telgi and several associates were sentenced to 30 years rigorous imprisonment. On 28 June 2007, Telgi was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for 13 years for another aspect of the scandal. He was also fined ₹10 billion (US$140 million). The Income Tax Department requested that Telgi's property be confiscated to pay the fine. He had been in jail for 13 years.
Telgi was suffering from meningitis and died on 23 October 2017 at Victoria Hospital, Bengaluru. He was suffering from diabetes and hypertension for over 20 years, besides other ailments.
In popular culture
- Mudrank: The Stamp is a 2009 Indian Hindi-language thriller film directed by Shakir Shah based on the stamp scandal.
- Paper is a 2020 Indian web series by Ullu based on the stamp scandal and stars Rohit Roy as Telgi.
- Scam 2003 is an upcoming Indian web series based directed by Hansal Mehta and produced by Applause Entertainment. It is based on the 2003 stamp paper scam by Telgi and is a sequel to Scam 1992 about the 1992 Indian stock market scam by Harshad Mehta.
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- "Mudrank The Stamp". MX Player.
- "Scam 2003 to present the story of Abdul Karim Telgi's rise and fall, find out who was Telgi". The Indian Express. 4 March 2021. Retrieved 23 April 2021.