The crooked story of Abdul Karim Telgi – the most ambitious conman in India

Abdul Karim Telgi’s birthplace, Khanapur, located in the Indian state of Karnataka. He worked with his mother and two other siblings to sell fruits to customers on board trains that stopped at the station, as described by author Sanjay Singh in his reputable book “Telgi Scam: Reporter’s Diary.

No one suspected that he would later plan one of India’s most daring cons.

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Abdul Karim Telgi left Mumbai to pursue his aspirations of fast riches in Saudi Arabia, but he soon returned and set himself up as a travel agency, bringing employees to the desert country. Given his character, the company was doomed from the start, and he quickly became embroiled in a scam involving the creation of fraudulent immigration papers on behalf of workers seeking employment in the Gulf States. The first time the guy now known as Karim Lala encountered trouble with the police was in 1991 when he was detained by the Mumbai Police for forgery and defrauding.

While incarcerated, Telgi met the prospective partner in his future racket: counterfeit stamp papers, which were in high demand due to the country’s chronic shortage of the real thing. In 1994, after completing his time, Telgi was released and was able to get a license for the company. Then, he printed the stamp sheets using equipment salvaged from the defunct Nashik Security press.

Abdul Karim Telgi

How did Abdul Karim Telgi become so rich?

Abdul Karim Telgi spent the following seven to eight years establishing a printing company to produce fake stamp sheets using equipment comparable to that which he had acquired at government auctions. At steep discounts, these counterfeit stamp sheets were supplied to institutional clients with other related materials such judicial court fee stamps, notary stamps, and share transfer certificates. Financial institutions like as banks, insurance companies, and brokerage houses were among Telgi’s clientele.

It would not have been able to pull off the hoax without the cooperation of government employees. Telgi kept them content while amassing a massive wealth that included hundreds of holdings around the nation.

According to sources, he often frequents the dance clubs on Grant Road in Mumbai and once spent thousands on a dancer he fancied because of her striking similarity to a well-known Bollywood actress. The fact that he tested positive for HIV in 2002 was the result of a little vice that eventually caught up with him.

When was Telgi arrested?

At the same time, investigations into Abdul Karim Telgi’s counterfeiting business had begun, and multiple charges had been filed against him in several states. After his 2001 arrest in Ajmer, he was found guilty of running a bogus stamp paper fraud that was worth an estimated Rs 20,000 crores and received a 30-year term in 2007. As of October 2017, he was incarcerated in Bengaluru’s Parappana Agrahara Central Jail, where he succumbed of multiple organ failure.

Despite the lack of “strong evidence” against them, the Nashik sessions court acquitted Telgi and six others in the bogus stamp paper case a year after his death.

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