Abdul Karim Telgi has reportedly died at Bengaluru’s Victoria hospital today at 8.30 pm – he headed a fake stamp paper racket for which he was sentenced to a 30 year jail term. He died of multiple organ failure. It was way back in 2002-03 when a special investigation team (SIT) unearthed his fake stamp paper racket after tapping a number of phones. The amount involved was then estimated to be worth billions of rupees. The court had convicted and sentenced Telgi in 2007 to 30 years of rigorous imprisonment. Telgi produced fake stamp paper and then allegedly sold it to banks, insurers and others. Telgi was last in news in July, 2017 when it was reported that he was getting special treatment in the Parappana Agrahara Central Jail in Bengaluru, Karnataka. This was revealed by a report by DIG (Prisons) D Roopa. It was also revealed by ANI that he got body massage from convicted prisoners.
Telgi had started his business as a boy who had a stamp vending stall. His modus operandi involved meeting the large statutory and legal requirements demand for stamp paper in the country that government was not being able to meet. He merely filled the then present vacuum with his fake stamp papers. The size of the scam was reportedly pegged at anything between Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 crore. All of this was happening right from the early 1990s.
A fine of Rs 202 cr was imposed on Telgi for selling fake stamp papers to banks, insurance institutes and brokerage firms. Pune police, in 2003, had registered a case against Telgi for allegedly heading the stamp paper scam.