Charles Sobhraj, Serial Killer in Asia 1970s (and a TV Mini-Series)

I’m guessing you finished watching it. None of what I mentioned was in the Netflix series except the last bit about him rotting in jail.


Yeah, I finished it… Honestly , I really enjoyed the show 9/10. EXCELLENT


Yeah it was done very well. My only criticism would be that it was a little restricted on location but having said that it would have been very hard to recreate 1970s and 80s Bangkok street life. It’s like Taipei. You go away for a few years and by the time you come back nothing looks the same anymore.


It was so freakin easy to swap photos on passports and travel under a false identity.

Plus people just buying gems from strangers - seriously?

His daughter is on the other side of the law today

One can’t deny he had charisma. He charmed men, women, - total strangers, prison guards, bureaucrats, you name it.


Yup in those days just a simple photo exchange. Easy as that. That is why they were sold by broke hippies and then claimed lost

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Unfortunately technology like fingerprints facial scans online databases and printed passports have failed to stop this. Major criminals are still able to officially obtain any document they want - it’s just you and me who has to suffer every time we want to legally cross borders.

I think you can still buy gems from.strangers no?
Or does the tax office want a piece of it?

It is harder, way harder. Now yes it is major criminals before someone skilled with a scalpel.

Not hard at all if you forge the original documents in the standard way - bribes.

ok ok.

Oh, yeah- I knew several people in or who had been to Thailand who got sucked in on that. I was with a friend visiting a couple who had just got back from SE Asia, and they were burbling about this great bargain they had on gemstones in Bangkok, and how they were going to get them appraised. My friend and I exchanged glances, and she shook her hear slightly- “Don’t tell them.” Never heard the results of the appraisal.
A favourite trick up in Chiang Mai was to warn you about all the grifters down in Bangkok- not like the real deals to be had up here.

Faked passports: Canadian passports were especially valued, because the Canadian government was notoriously lax.

In Day of the Jackal (1971) Frederick Forsyth revealed how easy it was to get fake ID- just apply for a birth certificate for someone who had died at a very young age (so they wouldn’t likely have an application in), then use that to get a passport. He got a lot of criticism for letting the secret out, but criminals had been doing it for years, and he himself had been trying to get governments to crack down on the practise , and had basically been ignored.


Back in 91 I was backpacking , people often sold their non transferable return ticket to various destinations. All you had to do was get them to check in your baggage and get the boarding pass and then you board the plane. I was never stopped and twice boarded with girls boarding passes

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Traveling vicariously through youtube vlogs and it turns out the real-life Nadine now runs a resort on Koh Phangan:


I wonder what the percentages are…people born into law enforcement or criminal families who do the same thing, and then people who are born into one but get involved in the opposite.

Overall I’d wager the number must be pretty high, assuming both law enforcement and criminal ways of life tend get get exposed to families more. For example the mentality carried during the ‘work’ portion of the day often doesn’t get turned down, or off for the non-work/family part.

Gems and Stones were the thing for a long time and there were opportunities 30-40 years ago when the serpent was playing around.

Even now in Bangkok the expat diplomats and business people they still think they’re getting a good deal from that one special dealer and it’s all still just b*******.

They think they’re getting something special, they’re never going to sell it or find true value, going to take it home and they’re going to say I got this great beautiful piece and it’s worth a lot of money but really it’s just a piece of s*** nobody wants it.

The shops just wait for Foreigner to come in and they think they’re getting something special but it’s just not.

30 years ago yes now it’s too much of a f****** business and Racket joking you know these people come they think I’m going to the exotic Thailand and think they’re doing something special they’re just stupid.

Kind of like newbies in Taiwan that wonder if I should say hi to a foreigner when I see passing on the street

So I heard.


I have some great gems :grinning:

What’s the exotic thing a Taiwanese can sell to a clueless foreigner?

Chinese medicine cabinets, all the rage in a certain area of Taipei…

When my wife and I were in Yangshou in China for our honeymoon in 1991 she came back all excited one day, having managed to buy some gen-u-wine Yuan Shi-kai coins, with his portrait on them and everything. With the opening of tourism, phony items from the Republican era were big sellers to Taiwanese.

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The most “dangerous’ thing a Taiwanese can sell to an unsuspecting foreigner in Taiwan….in the case of a Taiwanese girl is……themselves ….into Slavery……Yours.

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