The Untold Story of Abdul Karim Telgi: Scam 2003 In the early 2000s, India was rocked by a series of high-profile scams, which exposed the rot in the system and put the spotlight on the nexus between politicians, businessmen, and the underworld. One of the most notorious among them was the stamp paper scam, masterminded by Abdul Karim Telgi.
Abdul Karim Telgi was born in a small town in Karnataka in 1961. He belonged to a lower-middle-class family, and his father was a railway employee. Telgi’s initial years were marred by poverty, but he was an ambitious and smart individual who always aspired for more. He moved to Saudi Arabia in the 1980s to seek better opportunities, but it was there that he came in contact with the underworld and got involved in illegal activities.
The scam started in the late 1990s when Telgi acquired a stamp paper license from the Indian government. Stamp papers are legal documents used for various transactions such as buying property, signing contracts, and other legal activities. The government prints these papers, and they have a fixed denomination.
Telgi saw an opportunity here and decided to exploit the system. He set up a network of agents across the country, who would sell these fake stamp papers to banks, insurance companies, and other institutions. He also managed to get government officials, police officers, and politicians involved in the scam, thus creating a vast network of corruption.
Telgi had set up printing presses in various cities across India, where the fake stamp papers were printed. The quality of the fake papers was so good that it was almost impossible to differentiate them from the real ones. He also forged the signatures of government officials on the fake papers, making them look even more authentic.
The scam was not limited to just one state but spread across the entire country. It is estimated that the scam was worth over Rs 20,000 crores ($2.7 billion), making it one of the biggest scams in the history of India.
The scam came to light in 2002 when a whistleblower approached the police with information about the scam. The police started investigating the matter, and soon enough, Telgi and his associates were arrested. The investigation revealed the involvement of several high-profile individuals, including politicians, police officers, and government officials.
Telgi was initially arrested in Ajmer in November 2001 and later handed over to the Mumbai Police. During the investigation, he confessed to his involvement in the scam and also named several others who were part of the network.
The trial for the case began in 2004, and Telgi was sentenced to 30 years in prison and fined Rs 202 crores ($27 million). Several other individuals were also convicted and sentenced to prison.
The scam had a massive impact on the Indian economy as it involved a large amount of money and the involvement of several high-profile individuals. It also exposed the corruption in the system and the nexus between politicians, businessmen, and the underworld.
The case also brought to light the loopholes in the system and the need for better regulation and oversight. Following the scam, several reforms were introduced to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.
Abdul Karim Telgi passed away in 2017 while serving his sentence in prison. He was suffering from multiple ailments, including HIV/AIDS, and died of multi-organ failure.
The stamp paper scam remains one of the most significant scams in the history of India, and Telgi’s name will always be associated with it. Despite his death, the scam’s legacy lives on as a stark reminder of the corruption that plagues the system and the need for constant vigilance and reform.
The story of Abdul Karim Telgi is a classic example of how ambition and greed can lead to one’s downfall. He started as a small-town boy with big dreams but ended up becoming the mastermind behind one of the biggest scams in the history of India. His story serves as a reminder of the corruption that exists in the system and the need for constant vigilance and reform.