A convicted serial killer known as the ‘bikini killer’ for his penchant for preying on young female backpackers in South Asia has returned to his native France. Charles Sobhraj was deported by the Nepalese authorities onboard a packed Qatar Airways flight following his release from prison, where he spent almost two decades.
Sobhraj, 78, rose to notoriety after he was convicted of murdering young female backpackers in the 1970s. He is believed to have killed at least 20 innocent tourists, including around 14 in Thailand, where he preyed on backpackers on the so-called ‘hippie trail’.
Sobhraj, who was also known as ‘the serpent’ for his snake-like ability to avoid detection by the authorities, was originally jailed for his crimes in India between 1976 and 1997. Several years after his release, Sobhraj returned to Nepal where he was arrested and imprisoned again for his crime.
Despite receiving a life sentence with a minimum term of 20 years, the Supreme Court of Nepal ordered Sobhraj’s release on Thursday, citing his old age after he had spent 19 years in jail.
The Nepalese authorities deported Sobhraj to France via a commercial Qatar Airways flight. Photos of Sobhraj on the packed aeroplane showed other passengers looking visibly upset at being sat so close to the convicted murderer.
The number of actual victims that were killed by Sobhraj is still not known to this date.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.