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Backstory: Abdul Karim Telgi and the stamp paper scam 2003 | The Telgi Scam

Backstory: Abdul Karim Telgi and the stamp paper scam 2003 | The Telgi Scam 

A true story based on life of a humble man who got criminal mind. As a result The Telgi Scam 2003 occurred. Let’s see the back story behind scam 2003.
Backstory: Abdul Karim Telgi and the stamp paper scam 2003 | The Telgi Scam

From Humble Beginnings to Criminal Mastermind - Scam 2003

Abdul Karim Telgi's life journey is a captivating tale of ambition and criminality that shook the very foundations of India's financial institutions. Born in 1961 into a family facing financial struggles following his father's untimely death, Telgi's early years were marked by hardship and resilience.

Humble Beginnings

In an effort to fund his education, Telgi took to selling fruits and vegetables on trains, demonstrating a remarkable determination to overcome adversity. Little did anyone know that this young man would soon embark on a path that would lead him to infamy.

The Counterfeiting Ventures

Telgi's journey into the world of crime began when he moved to Saudi Arabia. After seven years, he returned to India with a new and nefarious career path in mind – counterfeiting. His criminal exploits started with forging passports, showcasing his fraudulent skills. He even went on to establish "Arabian Metro Travels," a business that facilitated the illegal export of manpower to Saudi Arabia through the production of fake documents, allowing laborers to bypass immigration checks.

However, Telgi's criminal appetite grew, leading him to a more lucrative venture – counterfeit stamp paper. He orchestrated a vast network of 300 agents to peddle these forged papers to major institutions, including banks, insurance companies, and stock brokerage firms. The sheer scale of his operation was staggering, with estimated gains reaching an astounding ₹30,000 crore.

The Law Catches Up

As the Telgi Scam unfolded, (Telgi Story 2003) it implicated not only Telgi but also several police officers and government employees, revealing the extent of corruption within the system. Justice, however, eventually caught up with Telgi. In 2006, he was sentenced to 30 years of rigorous imprisonment for his role in the scam. A year later, an additional 13-year sentence was added to his punishment, accompanied by a hefty fine of ₹202

 and the extensive damage caused to the nation's financial integrity.

Backstory: Abdul Karim Telgi and the stamp paper scam 2003 | The Telgi Scam

Personal Life and Demise

Beyond his criminal activities, Telgi was known for his extravagant lifestyle, which included frequent visits to dance bars. His romantic involvement with a bar dancer named Tarannumn Khan garnered widespread attention, with reports of him lavishing large sums of money on her during a single evening at the bar. Despite his ill-gotten wealth and luxury, Telgi's personal life was marred by controversy and indulgence.

Tragically, Telgi's life came to an abrupt end in 2017 due to meningitis, exacerbated by long-standing health issues like diabetes and hypertension. His death marked the conclusion of a complex and notorious chapter in India's criminal history.


Abdul Karim Telgi's life story serves as a cautionary tale of a man who, despite humble beginnings, chose a path of crime that left an indelible mark on the Indian financial landscape. The Telgi Scam stands as a stark reminder of the need for robust law enforcement and vigilant oversight to safeguard the integrity of the nation's institutions. While Telgi's demise marked the end of his reign, his legacy as one of India's most notorious counterfeiters will endure in infamy.

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