Abdul Karim Telgi

Victims Unknown
Born (1961-07-29)29 July 1961
Died 23 October 2017(2017-10-23) (aged 56)
Bengaluru, India
Known for Unknown
Criminal penalty Unknown


Abdul Karim Telgi (1961-2017) was a convicted Indian counterfeiter. He earned money by printing counterfeit stamp paper in India. He died suffering from multiple organ failure in Bengaluru on 23 October 2017.

Early life

Telgi's mother was Shariefabee Ladsaab Telgi, and his father was an employee of Indian Railways. His father died while he was young. Telgi paid for his own education at Sarvodaya Vidyalaya Khanapur, an English medium school, by selling fruits and vegetables on trains. Eventually, he moved to Saudi Arabia. Seven years later, he returned to India, at which time he began a career in counterfeiting, originally focusing on fake passports. He started a business to export manpower to Saudi Arabia and opened a company, Arabian Metro Travels at New Marine Lines. He used to create a number of fake documents that would facilitate labourers’ smooth passage at the airport even if their passport had an ECR (emigration check required) stamp or other issues that could raise red flags for immigration officials. This practice was called “pushing” in the parlance of manpower exporters.

Counterfeiting career

Telgi moved to more complex counterfeiting when he began to counterfeit stamp paper. He appointed 300 people as agents who sold the fakes to bulk purchasers, including banks, insurance companies, and stock brokerage firms. The size of the scam was estimated to be more than 100 billion (US$1.3 billion) One aspect of the scandal that caused much concern was that it required the involvement of many police officers and other government employees including Nikhil Khotari. An Assistant Police Investigator was found to have a net worth of over 1 billion (US$13 million), despite making a salary of only 9,000 (US$120) per month. Several police officers were implicated in the case. Pradip Sawant, then Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Branch, Mumbai, was discharged but subsequently reinstated after being found innocent. Then police officer S M Mushrif, known for the book Who killed Karkare took decisive measures on this case.

On 17 January 2006, Telgi and several associates were sentenced to 30 years rigorous imprisonment. On 28 June 2007, Telgi was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for 13 years for another aspect of the scandal. He was also fined 10 billion (US$130 million). The Income Tax Department requested that Telgi's property be confiscated to pay the fine. He had been in jail for 13 years.

Personal life

Telgi used to go to dance bars and once showered Rs 90 lakh on one bar dancer in one night in Topaz Bar at Grant Road, Mumbai. He was said to be in love with a bar dancer, Tarannumn Khan.


Telgi was suffering from meningitis and died on 23 October 2017 at Victoria Hospital, Bengaluru. He was suffering from diabetes and hypertension for over 20 years, besides other ailments.

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