Reel vs Real: Who was Abdul Karim Telgi? How He Did Fake Stamp Paper Fraud Of Rs 30 Thousand Crores?

Scam 2003 released on SonyLIV on 1 September 2023. This web series is based on the life of Abdul Karim Telgi who committed a major stamp paper fraud allegedly worth ₹30 thousand crores. 

Hansal Mehta, who helmed Scam 1992 is the creative director of this web series which is a series based on Sanjay Singh’s book Telgi Scam; Reporter’s ki Diary. This web series has a talented starcast of this web series includes Gagan Dev Riar, Sana Amin Sheikh, Shaad Randhawa, Mukesh TiwariTiwari, Dinesh Lal Yadav and many more. 

Who was Abdul Karim Telgi? 

Abdul Karim Telgi is a convicted Indian counterfeiter who earned money by making fake stamp papers. Telgi was born in 1961 in Karnataka and he was the mastermind behind India’s biggest stamp paper fraud which nobody could’ve imagined. 

Source: Ndtv. Com

Early Life

Abdul Karim Telgi’s father was a railways employee. His father died when Telgi was very young and nobody could afford his education. He completed his education by selling fruits and vegetables in train. 

After completing his education, Telgi moved to Saudi Arabia and returned after seven years with a totally different plan in mind. 

After returning, he began his counterfeiting career and started off by making fake passports. 

Telgi started a business of exporting man power to Saudi Arabia for which he opened a company, Arabian Metro Lines. He used to produce fake documents so that the laborers could travel easily even when their passport had an ECR. 


Counterfeiting Stamp Paper

Telgi did not stop at making fake passports. He moved on to a more complex counterfeiting when he started making fake stamp papers. Around 300 agents were hired who used to sell these fake stamps to the banks, insurance companies and stock brokerage firms. 

This counterfeiting empire would not have been possible if there weren’t any government officials or a police man involved. 

Nikhil Kothari, an Assistant Police Investigator was found involved in this scam when his net worth was shown over ₹1 billion whereas his salary was only ₹9000 per month. 

Telgi had a very extravagant lifestyle. He loved going to the dance bars. It is said that once he showered ₹90 lakh on a dance bar dancer who he said to be in love with. 

Source: Firstpost. Com


On 17 January 2006, Telgi was convicted and sentenced to a rigorous imprisonment of 30 years. On 28 June 2007, he was again sentenced to 13 years of rigorous imprisonment for another aspect of the scandal. The income tax department also requested for the confiscation of his property in order to pay the fine imposed which was around ₹10 billion. 

Death of Abdul Karim Telgi

Abdul Karim Telgi died on 23 October 2017 because he was suffering from meningitis. Apart from other ailments, he was suffering from diabetes and hypertension as well for the past 20 years.

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