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Abdul Karim Telgi: Legal Redemption in Illegal Paper Case

The announcement of a sequel to Scam 1992 sent minds racing. The showrunners have decided to put the spotlight on the late Abdul Karim Telgi. The revelation sent show enthusiasts and netizens scrounging for more information on this enigma who is set to take center stage.


Abdul Karim Telgi was one of the million unnamed faces that graced 1960s India.

  • Born in Khanapur, Belgaum in 1961, Telgi was the second child of two railway employees.
  • Left fatherless at a young age, he learnt to fend for himself. His family eked out a living by collecting fruits and selling them on the trains that pulled up at the Khanapur Station.
  • His fruit vending business put him through school and he topped it off by graduating from Gogate College of Commerce in Belgaum.

The Calm Before the Storm

Disenchanted with the lackluster opportunities that awaited him back home, he set out across uncharted waters.

  • His enterprising soul found itself drawn to the grandeurs and riches of Mumbai. He landed his first job as a Sales Executive with M/s Fillix India Ltd.
  • Poor sale performance and lethargic behavior on his part saw him lose his job.
  • Reluctant to return home, he picked up another stint as a guest house manager in Colaba.
  • The boom of expatriate workers in the Middle East captivated Telgi’s imagination. He made his way to Saudi Arabia as an employee but his unreliable conduct landed him in hot waters again.

Down the Rabbit Hole

On his return to India, Telgi became disillusioned with the path he had set out on. He was looking to make a quick buck and come hell or high water, he was going to do just that.

  • Telgi had a quick eye and he soon found himself working as a travel agent, facilitating the exodus of manpower to the Middle East.
  • He founded his own company, Arabian Metro Lines, at New Marine Lines. Telgi began to use it as a front to cloak the more underhanded side of his new business – forgery.
  • He dealt in forged documents and passports for the many hopefuls seeking a move to the Gulf.
  • The Mumbai Police soon caught a whiff of his illegal activities and it wasn’t long before Telgi became acquainted with prison in 1993.

The Switch

A session in the slammer was not going to deter Telgi from making headway in life. He soon struck up an acquaintance with Ratan Soni, who introduced him to the finer points of counterfeiting and a partnership was born.

  • With the blessings of eminent political personalities, Telgi and Soni began their operation in earnest. A few well-greased hands produced a stamp-vending license and the machinery required to kick-off this undertaking.
  • After parting ways with Soni, Telgi called upon his influential connections and began to run his own counterfeit press. His illegal business took off and at the height of his run, his counterfeited stamp papers graced every nook and corner of the country.

The Trapping of the Fly

Abdul Karim Telgi committed the cardinal sin of staring into the abyss for too long. When the abyss’ gaze finally fell on him, he was caught in an unescapable trap.

  • In 1991 and 1995, cases related to fake stamp papers were registered against Abdul Karim Telgi. This should have served as a warning but drunk on success, he probably paid no mind.
  • He was finally caught in 2001 in Ajmer and in 2007 he was sentenced to 30 years in prison and a fine of Rs 202 crores.

Danse Macabre

All the world’s a stage and every actor has their entrances and exits. Abdul Karim Telgi made his quiet exit on October 23 ,2017. The Nashik Court would later acquit him of all charges citing lack of concrete evidence. He who laughs last, laughs the loudest and Abdul Karim Telgi is certainly enjoying his.

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