Sobhraj, Charles

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Sobhraj, Charles Gender: M
Hotchand Bhaonani Gurumukh Charles Sobhraj
born on 6 April 1944 at 22:00 (= 10:00 PM )
Place Saigon, Vietnam, 10n45, 106e40
Timezone AWST h8e (is standard time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Petitallot
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 16°39' s_mo.18.gif s_vircol.18.gif 22°49 Asc.s_scocol.18.gif 29°37'


French serial killer of Indian and Vietnamese parentage, Sobhraj was known as "The Serpent" for his cunning and poisonous ways. He is Asia's premier serial killer, suspected of cutting a bloody trail through Asia and Europe killing backpacking tourist. For most of his life Charles bounced back and forth from Europe to Asia and led a life devoted to crime. By 1972, the year of his first known murder, he was deeply involved in the heroin trade. His preferred method of murder was slipping his victims a lethal drug cocktail and then robbing them of their money and possessions, particularly preying on European tourists. From 1972 to 1982 he is suspected of committing at least 20 murders in India, Thailand, Afghanistan, Turkey, Nepal, Iran and Hong Kong.

Charles was arrested numerous times in France, India, Afghanistan and Greece, but usually managed to escape or bribe his way out of trouble. He was finally brought to justice in July 1976 after poisoning a busload of French engineering students. On March 16, 1986, as his release date approached, Sobhraj escaped from the Tihar prison. The cunning killer threw a birthday party for himself and invited all guards and prisoners. Among the party treats were cakes, cookies and grapes. Surreptitiously, "Sir Charles" injected sleeping pills into the grapes knocking out all guest except for himself and four other inmates who proceeded to waltz out of the front gate into the New Delhi streets.

He was soon recaptured and found guilty of having an Italian-made pistol in his possession. Later he confessed to having purposely handed himself to authorities so to avoid extradition to Thailand where he was wanted for five murders and could be given the death penalty. On 2/14/1997 he was granted bail and refused to leave his cell until he received his identity papers from the French embassy which eventually supplied a paperless Sobhraj with a travel permit to France after wrangling over his status as a French national.

A free man in France, Sobhraj has proved to be as ruthless a businessman as he was a killer. A no nonsense celebrity, journalist are required to pay £5,000 to have coffee with him and discuss further monetary arrangements to secure an interview. Having already netted a few million on book and film deals for his autobiography, Sobhraj has proved to be quite the marketable commodity. Who said crime doesn't pay ?

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Crime : Homicide Perpetration 1972 (First murder, ten year career)
  • Crime : Arrest July 1976 (Poisoned bus load of students)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Deinstitutionalized - prison, hospital 16 March 1986 (Escaped from prison)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Institutionalized - prison, hospital 14 February 1997 (Granted bail, refused to leave cell)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Petitallot, Cadran No.10, 7/1994, quotes Richard Neville and Julie Clarke, "Life and Crimes of Charles Sobrahj."

Many biographies have been written, including La trace du serpent by Thomas Tompson.


  • Traits : Personality : Liar/ Fraud
  • Traits : Personality : Opportunist (Sells rights to his story, sells interviews)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Financial success in field
  • Lifestyle : Home : Expatriate (Settled in France to avoid prosecution)
  • Lifestyle : Home : Many moves (Staying one ahead of law)
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Drug business (Heroin trade)
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Homicide serial (Poisoned his victims)
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Prison sentence (Arrested many times)
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Thief/ Financial crime (Professional thief)
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer (Has been paid for pending book)
  • Notable : Famous : Criminal cases (Asia's premier serial killer)