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 DD
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 16 March 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 14 February 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.

On 17 September 2003, Sobhraj was seen in a street of Kathmandu by a journalist. The journalist quickly reported this to the Nepalese authorities who arrested him two days later. He was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Kathmandu district court on 20 August 2004 for the murders of Bronzich and Carrière in 1975. Most of the photocopy evidence used against him in this case was from that gathered by Knippenberg, the Dutch embassy investigator, and Interpol. He appealed against the conviction, claiming that he was sentenced without trial. His lawyer also announced that Chantal, Sobhraj's wife in France, was filing a case before the European Court of Human Rights against the French government, for refusing to provide him with any assistance. Sobhraj's conviction was confirmed by the Patan Court of Appeals in 2005.

In late 2007, news media reported that Sobhraj's lawyer had appealed to the then French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, for intervention with Nepal. In 2008, Sobhraj announced his engagement to a Nepali woman Nihita Biswas (who later participated in the reality show Bigg Boss). On 7 July 2008, issuing a press release through his fiancée Nihita, he claimed that he was never convicted of murder by any court and asked the media not to refer to him as a serial killer.

It was claimed that he married his fiancée on 9 October 2008 in jail on Bada Dashami, a Nepalese festival. On the following day, Nepalese jail authorities dismissed the claim of his marriage. They said that Nihita and her family had been allowed to conduct a tika ceremony, along with the relatives of hundreds of other prisoners. They further claimed that it was not a wedding but part of the ongoing Dashain festival, when elders put the vermilion mark on the foreheads of those younger to them to signify their blessings.

In July 2010, the Supreme Court of Nepal postponed the verdict on an appeal filed by Sobhraj against a district court's verdict sentencing him to life imprisonment for the murder of American backpacker Connie Jo Bronzich in 1975. Sobhraj had appealed against the district court's verdict in 2006, calling it unfair and accusing the judges of racism while handing out the sentence.[citation needed]

On 30 July 2010 the Nepalese Supreme Court upheld the verdict issued by the district court in Kathmandu of a life sentence for the murder of US citizen Connie Jo Bronzich and another year plus a Rs 2,000 fine for using a fake passport to travel. The seizure of all his properties was also ordered by the court. His mother-in-law/lawyer Shakuntala Thapa and his "wife" Nihita expressed dissatisfaction with the verdict and Thapa claimed that Sobhraj had been "denied" justice and "judiciary is corrupt." They were charged and sent to judicial custody for contempt of court because of these remarks.

Sobhraj currently has another case pending against him in the Bhaktapur district court for the murder of Canadian tourist Laurent Carrière. As of 18 September 2014, Sobhraj was convicted in Nepal of another murder.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • role played of/by Rahim, Tahar (born 4 July 1981). Notes: 2021 TV series "The Serpent"


  • 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" with the time 10 pm.

Many biographies have been written, including Serpentine by Thomas Tompson. The latter gives the time of birth as "precisely at midnight", leaving undefined whether that means the begin or end of the 6th.


  • 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)