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Why has ‘The Serpent’ Charles Sobhraj been released?

CHARLES Sobhraj was known to many as a ruthless con artist and murderer.

He even became dubbed ‘The Serpent‘ for his charm and slippery ability to evade arrest.

Channel 4Charles Sobhraj has been the subject of many documentaries[/caption]

Why was Charles Sobhraj released?

Sobhraj spent more than 20 years in prison.

He was first sent to jail in India in 1976 when he was sentenced to 12 years in 1997.

After his release, he returned to France before going to Nepal in 2003, where he was arrested, tried, and given a life sentence.

On 21 December 2022, the Supreme Court of Nepal ordered his release from prison after he had served 19 years of his prison term.

He was released from prison on account of his age and good behaviour.

On 23 December, deported to France.

Where was Charles Sobhraj released from?

Sobhraj had been held in a high-security prison in Kathmandu since 2003.

After his release, Sobhraj told news agency AFP: “I feel great… I have a lot to do.

“I have to sue a lot of people including the state of Nepal.”

He was arrested on charges of murdering US tourist Connie Jo Bronzich in 1975.

While in prison, Sobhraj married Nihita Biswas, a Nepali woman 44 years his junior, in 2008.

Where is Charles Sobhraj now?

It is now thought he is living in France.

He was even caught strolling UK streets on holiday in disguise in early 2024.

Sobhraj has been the subject of several dramatizations and books.

I didn’t kill a single person”

Charles Sobhraj

His shocking crime spree inspired the 2021 BBC drama series The Serpent.

Now a new Channel 4 documentary, The Real Serpent, puts his crimes under the spotlight with unprecedented access to the man himself.

Although he admits drugging and stealing from victims he dismisses accusations he killed the backpackers as “a lot of imagination.” 

“I did wrong to some people and those wrongs were immoral but I didn’t go to the length of killing anyone,” he says. “I didn’t kill a single person.”

Why was Charles Sobhraj deported to France?

He was deported to France as he had a French citizenship.

Sobhraj was reportedly barred from returning to Nepal for at least 10 years.

Who is Charles Sobhraj?

Charles Sobhraj was born Hotchand Bhawnani Gurmukh Sobhraj in Vietnam on April 6, 1944.

He was dubbed the “bikini killer” in Thailand, and “the serpent”, for his evasion of police and use of disguises.

He had an Indian father and a Vietnamese mother but was raised by his mother’s new husband.

As a teenager, he began to commit petty crimes and received his first custodial sentence for burglary in 1963.

After arrests in France, the career criminal fled to South Asia where he preyed on Western tourists travelling on the hippie trail during the 1970s.

What crimes did The Serpent Charles Sobhraj commit?

Sobhraj is a serial killer and thief.

It is thought that he murdered at least 20 tourists in South and Southeast Asia, including 14 in Thailand.

He funded his lifestyle by posing as either a gem salesman or drug dealer to impress and befriend tourists.

It was in India that he met Marie-Andrée Leclerc who was one of his most loyal followers.

Ajay Chowdhury became Sobhraj’s second in command and they committed their first known murders in 1975.

The first victim was a woman from Seattle called Teresa Knowlton who was found drowned in a tidal pool wearing a bikini.

The next victim was a Vitali Hakim, whose burnt body was found near where Sobhraj and his followers were staying.

Dutch students Henk Bintanja, 29, and his fiancée Cornelia Hemker, 25, were found strangled and burned on December 16, 1975.

Previous victim Hakim’s French girlfriend, Charmayne Carrou came to find more information about her boyfriend’s disappearance but soon met with death and was found drowned.

The next victims were Canadian Laurent Carrière, 26, and American Connie Jo Bronzich, 29.

Sobhraj then killed Israeli scholar Avoni Jacob to use his passport.

His last known victim was a Frenchman, Jean-Luc Solomon, who was poisoned during a robbery.

The act was committed with the intention of incapacitating Solomon, but it killed him.



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