The Stamp Paper Scam 2003 – (The Telgi Scam)

Stamp Paper Scam 2003

In the early 2000’s, the scam which shattered the country’s whole economic condition was the Stamp Paper Scam, 2003. The helmsman of this scam is Abdul Karim Telgi.

Born in Khanapur, Karnataka, Abdul hailed from a middle-class family whose parents worked as vendors in the Khanpur Railway Station. Due to their weaker economic condition, he used to sell fruits in the railway station to support his education.

Eventually, he left for Saudi Arabia to get richer in a short time. Within 7 years, he returned to Mumbai and settled as a travel agent. By this time, he was acquainted with many illegal ways of making money through employment. His travel agency the ‘Arabian Metro Travel Company’ used to forge passports and visas to make people travel to the foreign countries. However, in 1993, his work was published and was booked in jail for one year. While he was in Jail, he met Ratan Soni, who was a leading stamp vendor of forged share documents.

The Scam

After he learned many ways of committing crimes with the help of Soni, he gradually learned how to forge legal documents like judicial and non-judicial stamp papers. So, the clients were usually from several banks, brokerage firms or insurance companies. The notarial stamps were printed by counterfeit machinery to buyers from several institutions for a significant discount.

Over the next 6-7 years, he continued to do the business and made billions of profits. Without the aid of the government officials, he would not have made it a grand success. He was rumored to have spent a large amount of money in the dance bars and kept vast properties across countries.

In 2001, ultimately his scam was published and he was framed for forging papers amounting around 30,00,000,000. His sentence was upto 30 years of imprisonment and police investigated the whole racket that worked in this scam.

In October 2017, he breathed his last in Parappana Agrahara Central Jail, Bengaluru due to multiple organ failure. Recently, a trailer of his biopic made on his scam was released on Sony LIV. Overall, his scam had a significant contribution in the consequent economic instability of the country and paved a new way for the upcoming economic policies of the government.