France. Serpent, Charles Sobhraj returned to Paris. Serial killer released from prison in Nepal

France.  Serpent, Charles Sobhraj returned to Paris.  Serial killer released from prison in Nepal

France. Serpent, Charles Sobhraj returned to Paris. Serial killer released from prison in Nepal

French serial killer Charles Sobhraj arrived in Paris on Saturday after nearly two decades in a Kathmandu prison, Reuters reported. A court in Nepal decided to release him due to his advanced age and serious heart disease. Before leaving, Sobhraj told AFP that he was feeling great and had “a lot of work to do”.

Nicknamed the “Bikini Killer” or “Snake” for his ability to deftly change his appearance and identity and evade the police, Charles Sobhraj specialized in murdering hippie travelers in the 1970s, administering sleeping pills or drugs, killing, robbing and incinerating the corpses or abandoned.

In Nepal he was serving a double life sentence. He was convicted of the 1975 murders of American Connie Bronizch and Canadian Laurent Carriere, but according to police, his crimes were much more than that.


On December 21, a court in Nepal decided to release Sobhraj due to his advanced age and serious heart disease. Bimal Paudel, a spokesman for the Nepalese Supreme Court, told CNN that Sobhraj “needs to undergo open-heart surgery.”

On Friday, Sobhraj was escorted by the police to Kathmandu airport, from where he flew to France. Nepalese authorities ordered him to leave the country within 15 days. It is not yet known whether he will be charged with further crimes in France.

Charles Sobhraj has been released from prison in Kathmandu EPAPAP/EPA/NARENDRA SHRESTHA

At Kathmandu airport, Sobhraj told AFP he felt great and “had a lot of work to do” as he was going to sue a lot of people and the state of Nepal.

On Saturday morning, Reuters reported that Sobhraj had landed in Paris. The killer’s lawyer, Isabelle Coutant Peyre, who was present at Charles de Gaulle airport, did not respond to the agency’s request for comment on the case.

Charles Sobhraj’s lawyer Isabelle Coutant Peyre at the airport in ParisPAP/EPA/TERESA SUAREZ

Charles Sobhraj – who is he?

Charles Sobhraj was born in 1944 in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), a Vietnamese city then under French colonial rule. He got into his first conflicts with the law in Europe, where he moved as a teenager. He had a record for petty burglary and theft.

In the early 1970s, he returned to Asia, where he began to commit more serious crimes. He was imprisoned in India in 1976, convicted of poisoning a group of French tourists with drugs. He heard a sentence of 12 years in prison, extended by an additional 10 years after an escape attempt.

Charles Sobhraj released from prisonNARENDRA SHRESTHA/EPA/PAP

Charles Sobhraj was finally released in 1997, but he was still suspected of other crimes. A warrant was issued in Nepal for his arrest in connection with two murders in 1975. In 2003, Sobhraj unexpectedly returned to Nepal where he was detained and a year later sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of an American tourist. In 2014, he received a second life sentence, this time for the murder of a Canadian woman.

Investigators believe that there were many more victims of the Frenchman. Charles Sobhraj himself confessed during the trial to murdering a total of 12 people between 1972 and 1976, and mentioned other murders. However, he later withdrew his testimony.

It is estimated that in total he may have been involved in committing up to 20 murders. According to the findings of the investigators, the now 78-year-old man hunted mainly young tourists from the West, usually associated with the hippie community. Before committing the murders, Sobhraj gained the trust of his victims and then administered drugs to them. He also allegedly tortured some of the victims. Due to his insidious manner of operation, he was nicknamed “The Snake” by the media.


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