Award-winning French actor Tahar Rahim will play Sobhraj in the eight-part series called The Serpent, based on the astonishing true story of how one of the most elusive criminals of the 20th century was caught and finally brought to trial.
Nicknamed ‘The Serpent’ due to his knack for changing his identity and escaping several international prisons, Sobhraj was once deemed Interpol’s most wanted man. In Thailand, he would befriend young hippies and allow them to stay at his apartment in Bangkok, where they were fatally drugged. Their bodies were later disposed of in Pattaya and other still unknown locations.
Sobhraj was interrogated by Thai police in connection with the murders, including two Dutch students, but apparently released because of possible collateral damage to the country's tourist industry.
Meanwhile, Dutch diplomat Herman Knippenberg who had been investigating the case was given police permission to search Sobhraj's Bangkok apartment, a full month after the suspect had left the country. Knippenberg found evidence, including victims' documents and passports, as well as poisons and syringes.
Sobhraj was eventually jailed in India twice – the second time deliberately to avoid extradition to Thailand - before settling in France. On a visit to Nepal, he was recognized and arrested. To this day, the 75-year-old remains in prison in Kathmandu.