The Telgi Scam, a colossal over Rs 30,000 crore counterfeit stamp paper racket spread across various states, began in 1992 but surfaced in 2003, with Abdul Karim Telgi at its helm, mastermind extraordinaire.
Stamp papers, essential legal documents validated by the Indian Stamp Act 1899, unwittingly turned into Telgi's tools of deception.
Born In 1961, Telgi's arduous journey started as a fruitseller and went on to become a Counterfeiter extraordinaire. He started off with Fake passports and took a leap into the world of forged stamp papers!
First, he bribed officials at the Indian Security Press in Maharashtra, creating a shortage of genuine stamp papers. Simultaneously, he acquired illegal machinery and materials to produce flawless counterfeit stamp paper
The pivotal moment in August 2000 came when arrests of a few dealers transporting the fake stamps uncovered the scam.They revealed the entire play and a few days later, Telgi got arrested due to a tip of his location.
In a dramatic turn, Telgi got arrested in 2001 during a pilgrimage which further revealed hints of high-level complicity.The "STAMPIT" team was formed to dig deeper into the scam.
Telgi faced a staggering Rs 120 crore tax demand, a 30-year prison sentence, and a colossal Rs 202 crore fine. The scandal prompted vital reforms in administrative systems and stamp paper issuance to prevent such catastrophes in the future.