When the Stamp Paper Scam Kingpin, Abdul Karim Telgi, Lavished Rs 90 Lakhs on India’s Premier Bar Dance

Let’s talk about the time When the Stamp Paper Scam Kingpin, Abdul Karim Telgi, Lavished Rs 90 Lakhs on India’s Premier Bar Dance,

the heart of one of India’s most infamous scandals lay a surprising twist – the curious romance between Abdul Karim Telgi, the mastermind behind the stamp paper scam, and Tarannum Khan, India’s most celebrated bar dancer.


Abdul Karim Telgi
image credit : https://www.deccanherald.com/

The tale begins with Telgi’s remarkable rise to notoriety. Born in Belagavi, Karnataka, Telgi’s early life was marred by hardship. After his father’s passing, he resorted to selling fruits to support his family and finance his education. Armed with a B.Com degree, he ventured to Saudi Arabia, only to return after nearly seven years. Back in India, he adopted a rather unconventional career path – he became a legal stamp vendor, but with a nefarious twist. Telgi’s fraudulent empire involved mixing counterfeit stamp papers with genuine ones and profiting immensely from the illicit trade.

image credit : https://divyamarathi.bhaskar.com/

His criminal endeavors led him to establish his own printing press on Mint Road in Mumbai, where his illicit operations flourished, amassing a staggering fortune reportedly exceeding Rs. 20,000 crores. However, Telgi’s ascent came to an abrupt halt in November 2001 when he was apprehended and sentenced to 30 years in prison, accompanied by a hefty fine of Rs. 202 crores. His life eventually concluded behind bars when he succumbed to multiple organ failure on October 23, 2017.

image credit : thequint

Yet, amid the chaos of his criminal empire, a peculiar love story emerged. Telgi was a regular patron of the Topaz Bar in Mumbai, renowned for its bar dancers who bore a striking resemblance to Bollywood stars. However, Telgi’s heart was captivated by one dancer in particular – Tarannum Khan, whose likeness to the iconic actress Madhuri Dixit drew his attention.

image credit : https://www.bollywoodshaadis.com/

On a fateful New Year’s Eve in 2000, Abdul Karim Telgi bestowed a jaw-dropping sum of Rs. 90 lakhs upon Tarannum Khan. This extraordinary gesture instantly propelled her to the status of India’s wealthiest bar dancer in a single night.

Reports and police investigations suggested that Telgi’s affection for Tarannum extended beyond her physical allure. Their visits to the Topaz Bar were not just about dance and beauty; they were about a deeper connection. Abdul Karim Telgi’s affection for Tarannum Khan was rooted in her compelling life story.


Tarannum Khan’s origins were humble; she was born and raised in Mumbai, living with her parents in the Andheri area. Her father operated a small shop, but their financial stability was fragile, as he was the sole breadwinner for a family of six. Tragedy struck during the 1992 Bombay riots when their shop and home were consumed by fire and looted. Her father’s health deteriorated significantly after suffering a severe heart attack. The family was compelled to relocate to a relief camp, with Tarannum stepping up as the provider by embracing a career as a bar dancer.

This unlikely love story between a criminal mastermind and a struggling dancer highlights the unpredictable nature of human emotions. Tarannum Khan’s journey from adversity to wealth was a testament to her resilience, and her connection with Abdul Karim Telgi adds a layer of intrigue to one of India’s most notorious scandals.

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