Hansal Mehta, known for his notable work in the entertainment industry, including the successful Netflix drama “Scoop” and the critically acclaimed “Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story.”, has a recent development for his Netflix drama “Scam,”. He has announced the release of another web series, “Scam 2003: The Telgi Story,” which will be available on SonyLiv starting September 2. This series is a continuation of Mehta’s popular “Scam” series and will focus on the life of Abdul Karim Telgi, a notorious scamster.
Abdul Karim Telgi’s life was a tale of crime, deceit, and the audacity to orchestrate one of the biggest scams in Indian history. The upcoming web series, “Scam 2003: The Telgi Story,” directed by Hansal Mehta, promises to provide viewers with a gripping narrative that delves into the depths of Telgi’s life and the infamous stamp paper scandal.
Who was Abdul Karim Telgi
Born in Khanapur, Karnataka, in 1961, Abdul Karim Telgi’s father worked as a Class 4 employee in the Indian Railways. After his father’s demise, Telgi, along with his brother and mother, sold fruits at railway stations to make ends meet. They would collect fruits from forests, such as pears, cherries, and blueberries, and sell them to train passengers at the Khanapur station.
Born into a middle-class family, Telgi faced financial struggles but managed to earn a living by selling produce. After completing his education and unsuccessful attempts at various jobs, he travelled to Saudi Arabia, where he observed illegal activities in the tourism sector.
Inspired by these scams, Telgi returned to Mumbai and began his own fraudulent operations, including forging passports and documents to send people abroad illegally. His schemes gained popularity, but eventually, the authorities cracked down on his activities. In 1993, he was arrested and imprisoned for his involvement in a visa racket. It was during his time in jail that he connected with another fraudster and conceived one of India’s largest scams.
Abdul Karim Telgi gained infamy for orchestrating the Stamp Paper Scam that shook the nation in Scam 2003. His rise from a humble background to becoming the mastermind behind one of the largest counterfeit stamp scandals resembles a plot straight out of Bollywood.
The Journey to Crime
After completing his schooling, Telgi pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Gogate College of Commerce in Belgaum. He started his career as a sales executive but faced setbacks and lost his job. Telgi then worked as a manager at Kishan Guest House in Colaba before seeking opportunities in Saudi Arabia. However, he eventually returned to India and settled in Mumbai.
The First Scam
In Mumbai, Telgi established “Arabian Metro Travels” and engaged in illicit activities by producing fake immigration clearance documents for laborers aspiring to work in the Gulf countries. His fraudulent actions caught the attention of the Mumbai Police, leading to his arrest in his village on charges of forgery and cheating.
Meeting Ratan Soni in Jail
Telgi’s arrest turned out to be a turning point in his criminal career. While in jail, he encountered Ratan Soni, a criminal involved in stock exchange dealings. Soni, aware of the negligent nature of the Stamp Paper Office, suggested that Telgi venture into the business of counterfeit stamps.
With Soni’s guidance and political connections, Telgi managed to obtain a stamp paper license in 1994. He acquired discarded machines from the Nashik Security Press, which were deemed “junk.”
The Stamp Paper Scam
Telgi’s counterfeit stamp business flourished once he acquired the necessary machines. He employed over 300 people who sold fake stamps to various institutions, including banks, insurance companies, and stock brokerage firms. The estimated value of his scam at that time was around Rs 100 billion or $1.3 billion.
One of the key factors contributing to Telgi’s success was the involvement of several police officers in his illegal activities. Shockingly, an Assistant Police investigator was discovered to have a net worth of $13 million despite earning a modest monthly salary.
Telgi’s Arrest and Sentencing
Telgi’s run came to an end when he was arrested in Rajasthan in 2001. After a lengthy trial, he was sentenced to 30 years of rigorous imprisonment in 2006. In 2007, he received an additional 13-year sentence for another aspect of the scandal. Furthermore, he was fined $130 million by the court.
Telgi’s Illness and Controversies
While in custody, Telgi made sensational claims that powerful individuals associated with the scandal wanted to kill him. He alleged that he had been injected with an AIDS-infected syringe in 2002. Telgi also accused authorities of denying him proper treatment for his hypertension and diabetes.
Additionally, Telgi was known for his obsession with Bollywood actresses. He frequented a bar in Mumbai and spent vast amounts of money on bar dancers who resembled his favorite stars.
1. When will “Scam 2003: The Telgi Story” be released? The web series is set to be released on SonyLiv on September 2.
2. What was the estimated value of Telgi’s stamp paper scam? Telgi’s scam was estimated to be around Rs 100 billion or $1.3 billion.
3. How long was Telgi sentenced for his Scam 2003? Telgi was sentenced to 30 years of rigorous imprisonment, and an additional 13 years for another aspect of the scandal.
4. Did Telgi face any controversies during his time in custody? Telgi claimed that he was injected with an AIDS-infected syringe and was denied proper treatment for his health issues while in custody.
5. What is the background of Director Hansal Mehta? Hansal Mehta is known for his notable work in the entertainment industry, including the successful Netflix drama “Scam” and the critically acclaimed “Scam 1992.”