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Security press in stamps scam

An intelligence report on fake stamps scam has underscored glaring security lapses in the Indian Security Press and involvement of some of its employees.

india Updated: Nov 17, 2003 13:23 IST

An Intelligence Bureau report on Adbul Karim Telgi, the kingpin behind the Rs 17,000 crore fake stamps and stamp papers scam has underscored glaring security lapses in the Indian Security Press (ISP), Nasik and involvement of some of its employees.

The report, a copy of which is with the Hindustan Times, is based on investigations conducted so far by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and the Crime Branch of Mumbai Police. It says that at least three senior officials of the ISP were in cahoots with the main accused in the racket.

Sources said the report was discussed at the Directors-General's conference in the capital earlier this week. It alleged that certain officials in the ISP created an artificial shortage of stamps and stamp papers by supplying stocks less than the indented amounts. This, investigations revealed, was apparently done to help Telgi flood the market with fake material to dupe buyers.

Investigations have also highlighted that the paper technology so crucial to preparing fake stamp and stamp papers was passed on to Telgi as far back as 1997, the report says. Also, 12 (old) printing machines in use at the ISP were auctioned without dismantling and removing designs (in violation of the security drill). Only two of these machines have been accounted for. It is suspected that the remaining ten reached Telgi.

Some positive prints of stamp papers and stamps were also pilfered out of the Nasik press. Officials involved with the investigations said the racket, which has shaken the political and bureaucratic establishments in Maharashtra and Karnataka, was being run as a "near perfect operation.''

First Published: Nov 09, 2003 01:04 IST