Abdul Karim Telgi

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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.

Early life[edit]

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 fruit 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.

Counterfeiting career[edit]

Telgi moved to more complex counterfeiting when he began to counterfeit stamp paper. He appointed 350 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) [1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

On 17 January 2006, Telgi and several associates were sentenced to 30 years rigorous imprisonment.[4] 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.[5]

He had been in jail for 13 years.


Telgi was suffering from meningitis and died on 23 October 2017 at a Victoria Hospital, Bengaluru. He was suffering from diabetes and hypertension for over 20 years, besides other ailments, including AIDS.[6]

Movie related to case[edit]

Mudrank (The Stamp) is a film based on the stamp scandal. It was finished in 2008, but Telgi filed legal challenges to prevent its release.[7] Telgi alleged that the details covered in the film would damage his legal appeals. As of June 2019, the film has not yet been released.


  1. ^ "Telgi Scam". The Financial Express. 19 November 2003. Archived from the original on 15 May 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
  2. ^ Dharker, Anil (30 November 2003). "Telgi is so Indian". The Hindu. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
  3. ^ http://whokilledkarkare.com/content/sm-mushrif-0
  4. ^ "Stamp paper scam: Telgi gets 10-year RI". indianexpress.com. Indian Express. 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Telgi gets 13 years jail, Rs 1000 crore fine". Rediff India Abroad. 28 June 2007. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
  6. ^ https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/abdul-karim-telgi-kingpin-of-fake-stamp-paper-scam-dies/articleshow/61244235.cms
  7. ^ "Telgi unhappy with Mudrank". The Times of India. 23 April 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2011.