Fake stamp paper kingpin Abdul Karim Telgi is deadtext_fields
Bengaluru: Son of a railway employee who started off as a vegetable and fruit vendor in trains, Abdul Kareem Telgi took to the murky world and attained notoriety as the kingpin of a multi-crore counterfeit stamp paper scam.
For over a decade, Telgi, who died today following illness while serving his sentence, ran the empire as the mastermind of the counterfeit stamp papers until 2003.
As the sensational scam unfolded, security and intelligence agencies pegged its size at a figure of up to Rs 20,000 crore.
Hailing from Khanapur in Belagavi district of Karnataka, 56-year-old Telgi began his life as a vegetable and fruit vendor in trains.
After his education in the local Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, an English-medium school, he had obtained a B.Com degree from a college in Belagavi.
Later, he moved to Saudi Arabia and returned seven years later to Mumbai, where he allegedly developed links with the underworld.
He was arrested in 1991 on charges of cheating, but reportedly used his stay in the prison to learn the tricks of the trade from an expert forger. Telgi allegedly bribed his way out of jail.
Acquiring a stamp-paper licence in 1994, Telgi opened an office at Mint Road in Mumbai.