The Trentonian's Strange But True Page

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Do not try this at home

NEW DELHI - The Indian businessman spent years evading authorities around the world, fleeing accusations that he'd run elaborate bank scams, investigators allege. When he lost an appeal in Germany against extradition to India, he came up with a novel scheme: He swallowed a knife.

For four years, Amarendra Nath Ghosh refused surgery to remove the knife, hampering India's attempts to bring him back to stand trial because medics said flying with the 4-inch metal object lodged in his stomach might prove fatal.

Finally, though, authorities appeared to get the upper hand, bringing him back on a private plane staffed with doctors on Monday, said G. Mohanty, spokesman for India's Central Bureau of Investigation.

Ghosh appeared in a Calcutta court Tuesday to face a host of criminal conspiracy charges — with the knife apparently still lodged in his stomach. The Calcutta judge scheduled another hearing on Sept. 11, according to CBI lawyer T. P. Sinha.

Ghosh, 45, is accused of cheating five Calcutta banks of $6.75 million in 1994 and 1995. He is believed to have worked with local bank employees in his plots, which included forged checks, nonexistent accounts, and falsified loans, according to the CBI.

He is also accused of defrauding banks in Dubai, where Indian officials said he is wanted in several cases.

It was in Germany, however, that Indian authorities caught up with Ghosh.


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