scam 2003

Scam 2003: Unraveling India’s Biggest Financial Fraud

Hansal Mehta’s documentary “Scam 2003”: The Telgi Story,” which tells the story of stamp paper counterfeiter Abdul Karim Telgi, examines the unethical nature of success-seeking methods and is also a critique of the systemic decay that fosters corruption, according to the director.

The movie, which was directed by Tushar Hiranandani and is based on the book “Reporter Ki Diary” by Sanjay Singh, narrates how Telgi used a syndicate to print fake stamps and stamp papers in order to conduct a multi-crore scam.

Scam 2003 Overview

Release Date1 September 2023
GenreBiography, Crime, Drama
DirectorTushar Hiranandani, Hansal Mehta, Prann Chaurasiya
WriterKiran Yagnopavit
CinematographyStanley Mudda
Music DirectorIshan Chabbra

Who is Abdul Karim Telgi?

The financial scandal known as the Stamp Paper Scam, or Telgi Scam, began in 1992 and was exposed in 2002–2003. One of the most notorious counterfeiting scandals in India’s history, involving multiple states and valued at more than Rs 30,000 crore, was masterminded by Telgi. As a result, Abdul Karim Telgi, the scam’s mastermind, was found guilty.

Born in Karnataka on July 29, 1961, Abdul Karim Telgi sold fruits and vegetables on trains to pay for his own education before relocating to Saudi Arabia. When Telgi was young, his father, an employee of Indian Railways, passed away. He came back to India seven years later with the intention of pursuing a new career in “counterfeiting.” He made fictitious passports and other documentation so that his business, Arabian Metro Travels, could export workers from India to Saudi Arabia. proceeded to create fake stamp papers after that.

As Telgi grew older, he started to counterfeit stamp paper, which led him to more sophisticated counterfeiting. To sell the fake to financial institutions like banks, insurance companies, and stock brokerage firms, he enlisted 300 agents. With an estimated cost of approximately Rs 30,000 crore, the scope of this operation was astounding.

Telgi and a number of his associates were sentenced to thirty years of hard labor on January 17, 2006. Telgi was later sentenced to an extra 13 years in 2007. He was reportedly also required to pay a Rs 202 crore fine. To cover the fine, Telgi’s property was to be seized by the Income Tax Department.

In 2003, ‘The Financial Times’ reported that between 1992 and 2002, at least 12 cases from Maharashtra and an additional 15 cases from other states were registered against Telgi in connection with these stamps.

About Scam 2003: The Telgi Story 

Hansal Mehta discussed the “Scam 2003” with PTI, saying, “It is an indictment of the means you apply to achieve an absolutely disproportionate kind of success, but it is also a recognition of hustle.” ‘Scam’ is a celebration of hustle, but it’s also a critique of illegality and the systemic decay that makes people play with the rules and encourage corruption.”

According to the director, he has been working hard as a storyteller for the past thirty years. People who don’t currently have the chance to shine must work hard to do so in order to do so. Since the days of “Khana Khazana,” I have done that. Thirty years of hard work have passed. However, my work ethic differs from Mr. Telgi’s. He continued, “I would like to think that I haven’t conned my way into where I am.”

In collaboration with Sony’s Studio Next, Applause Entertainment is producing the series. Authors Kiran Yadnyopavit and Karan Vyas are from Marathi.

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