Abdul Karim Telgi (born 29 July 1961 – 23 October 2017) was a convicted Indian counterfeiter.[1] He earned money by printing counterfeit stamp paper in India.

Abdul Kareem Telgi
Born(1961-07-29)29 July 1961
Died23 October 2017(2017-10-23) (aged 56)
Criminal chargeStamp paper counterfeiting
Penalty43 years rigorous imprisonment.

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 education at Sarvodaya Vidyalaya Khanapur, an English medium school, by selling fruits and vegetables on trains. He later studied at Gogte College of Commerce, Belgaum. He completed his B.Com in 1984. Eventually, he moved to the Gulf, Saudi Arabia. Seven years later, he returned to India, where he began a counterfeiting career, 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 several fake documents that would facilitate laborers' 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.

Counterfeiting charges edit

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 around 300 billion (US$3.8 billion) [2] 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 Kothari, an Assistant Police Investigator who was found to have a net worth of over 1 billion (US$13 million), despite making a salary of only 9,000 (US$110) per month.[3] 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 in this case.[4]

On 17 January 2006, Telgi and several associates were sentenced to 30 years rigorous imprisonment.[5] 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$130 million). The Income Tax Department requested that Telgi's property be confiscated to pay the fine.[6] He had been in jail for 13 years.

Death edit

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 like HIV.[7]

In popular culture edit

  • Mudrank: The Stamp is a 2009 Indian Hindi-language thriller film directed by Shakir Shaikh based on the stamp scandal.[8]
  • Paper is a 2020 Indian web series by Ullu based on the stamp scandal and stars Rohit Roy as Telgi.
  • Money Mafia is a documentary series that showcases the details of eight scandals in India. The first episode, Fake Stamp Papers, is about Telgi's scandal.[9]
  • Scam 2003 is an Indian web series directed by Tushar Hiranandani and produced by Applause Entertainment and stars Gagan Dev Riar as Telgi. It is inspired from Sanjay Singh's book Telgi Scam: Reporter's ki Diary.[10]

References edit

  1. ^ "The life and times of Abdul Karim Telgi". The Hindu.
  2. ^ "Telgi Scam". The Financial Express. 19 November 2003. Archived from the original on 15 May 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
  3. ^ Dharker, Anil (30 November 2003). "Telgi is so Indian". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 27 March 2004. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
  4. ^ SM Mushrif. whokilledkarkare.com.
  5. ^ "Stamp paper scam: Telgi gets 10-year RI". indianexpress.com. Indian Express. 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  6. ^ "Telgi gets 13 years jail, Rs 1000 crore fine". Rediff India Abroad. 28 June 2007. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
  7. ^ Rao R., Sunitha (26 October 2017). "Telgi dead: Abdul Karim Telgi, kingpin of fake stamp paper scam, dies aged 56". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 17 January 2018. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  8. ^ "Mudrank The Stamp". MX Player. Archived from the original on 23 April 2021.
  9. ^ discovery+ | Stream 55,000+ Real-Life TV Episodes, retrieved 11 October 2021
  10. ^ "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.

11. https://24yesnews.com/scam-2003-the-telgi-story/#more-8418