Abdul Karim Telgi, the Convict in the Rs 32,000-crore stamp paper scam, died at the Victoria hospital in Bengaluru on Thursday after cardiac arrest. He was suffering from multi-organ failure, where he was brought from the Central Jail on October 16 in a critical condition.
Telgi was arrested in Mumbai for selling fake passports in 1992, made a beginning with selling eatables on trains running through Khanapur, his hometown in Karnataka. In 2001 he was arrested in the fake stamp paper scam across 18 states worth hundreds of crores and sentenced six years later to 30 years of jail term. His wealth includes 36 properties and over 120 bank accounts in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and other cities.
With a deficit of stamps and stamp papers to carry out several legal paperwork, Telgi found an opportunity and sharpened on making fake stamp papers. He included high-skilled youth in his gang to sell fake stamp paper. Contacting young entrepreneurs and large private organizations, they used to lure the fat commission. He claimed that he had a friendly relationship with several officials of the Nashik Security Press, Stamp Office, and the Revenue Ministry.
The probe also revealed that Telgi also masterminded the shortage in connivance with a few officials of the Indian Security Press at Nashik. The two modus operandi helped Telgi expand his illegal business throughout the country and sell his fraud to desperate people who were in need of stamp papers ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 100. After the arrest of two people in connection with fake stamp paper in Bengaluru, the scandal layers started to open. The names of several police officers and leaders were also brought out in the scandal.
Telgi overwhelmed the market with fake stamp papers, smearing the palms of officials and police officers across the country. An unknown call to Upparpet police station in Bengaluru in November 2000 led cops to arrest a man trading fake stamp papers, who told Telgi was the supplier. He was arrested a year later from Ajmer, Rajasthan.
In 2007, Telgi was sentenced in the scam and granted 30 years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs 202 crores. On Thursday, Telgi died of multi-organ failure. While his death might be the conclusion to the case, many say that Telgi was just a ‘pawn’ and his political partners managed to escape the law.