BBC One and Netflix’s ‘The Serpent’ is an eight-part crime drama series on how Charles Sobhraj, a thief, fraudster, and serial killer, was caught and incarcerated after years of preying on Western “longhairs” in Southeast Asia. Posing as a gem dealer, the con artist had a lot of assistance in executing his sinister plans from his girlfriend, Marie-Andrée Leclerc, and his brother in arms, Ajay Chowdhury. However, because of Ajay’s mysterious character and disappearance, the questions surrounding what happened to him remain the most bewildering aspect in the matter to this day. So, let’s find out all that there is to know about him, shall we?
Who is Ajay Chowdhury?
Born in Bombay (present-day Mumbai), India, Ajay Chowdhury met Charles Sobhraj by chance in a random New Delhi park in 1975. As time passed, the two started bonding over being brown individuals in a world divided by whites and war. So, with Charles slowly understanding his psychology and promising the young man a better world along with a luxurious lifestyle, Ajay followed him to Bangkok, Thailand. Soon, not only did Ajay make himself invaluable in the mastermind’s web of drugs and deception, but he also became the one Charles trusted to do his dirty work.
Because of Ajay’s look, he was the one sent to tourist hostels to scout for potential targets to bring back to Charles’ base, where, together, they would drug and rob them of all their valuables, especially their passports and traveler’s cheques. Yet, how or why the duo moved from theft to murder, nobody knows. All we know is that their first confirmed slaying was of Teresa Knowlton. They sedated her, changed her into a bikini, and then drowned her to make it look like an accident. Moreover, as per police records, Ajay was liable for burning their victims’ remains to prevent quick identification.
After Ajay, Charles, and Marie-Andrée went to Malaysia in 1976, the former was the only one from their gang never to be seen or heard from again. One day, the couple sent Ajay on an errand to procure some gems from a nearby mining town, and upon his return, he and Charles took a drive together into a forest. But only Charles came back. According to Marie’s testimony following her arrest in the summer of the same year, she said she had last seen Ajay on that March day and that she and Charles didn’t talk about him anymore. Charles has since denied killing him.
Where is Ajay Chowdhury Now?
Because there are only second or third-hand accounts available for Ajay Chowdhury, there are many theories about him. While one suggests that the Indian was the catalyst for the slayings since they only started once he entered the scene and stopped when he left, others imply that Charles managed to convince him to kill while he was drugged up as well. But the one thing that remains constant throughout is that Ajay was Charles’ second in command until the very day he disappeared.
As for what happened to Ajay, that is a puzzle to this day. Charles and Marie had flown to Geneva shortly after Ajay was last seen alive, so some say that he was abandoned in the woods. Others, though, think that Charles got rid of him because he was the only loose end in his schemes. However, because no remains have ever been found in the area, the latter has been discounted by many. The Interpol file on Ajay remains open to this day, and reports reveal that there was one unconfirmed sighting of him in Frankfurt, Germany, in December 1976.
If Ajay Chowdhury is still alive, he would be in his 70s and would probably be living under an assumed name. But the enigma of where is also a detail no one has the answer for. “For me, the greatest shock was hearing his parents talk about him,” Amesh Edireweera, the actor who plays Ajay, said in a press release provided by BBC One. “I heard Ajay’s mother talk about “her boy” and connected to the love that she still showed for him, in spite of everything that happened. I felt a real sense of sorrow for the family [because they got no closure].”
Read More: Where is Charles Sobhraj’s Mother Now?