Amesh Edireweera plays Ajay Chowdhury in The Serpent

The Serpent: Charles Sobhraj’s accomplice Ajay Chowdhury’s role and current whereabouts

He's played by Amesh Edireweera in the drama about serial killer Charles Sobhraj

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The Serpent has left viewers horrified at the crimes of serial killer Charles Sobhraj – and his numerous accomplices. So where is Ajay Chowdhury now?

The Mumbai-born criminal not only knew about Charles’ activities, he was complicit to his crimes.

Some might even say that he was Charles’ right-hand man, alongside Charles’ girlfriend Marie-Andrée Leclerc.

Here’s everything you need to know.

***Warning: may contain spoilers***

The Serpent episodic
Ajay Chowdhury helped Charles Sobhraj cover up his crimes (Credit: BBC One)

Read more: The Serpent BBC One: Five burning questions we have ahead of episode two

Who is Ajay?

First of all, Ajay was Charles’ second-in-command, his lieutenant, his henchman.

He lured in Western travellers, and helped Charles commit his deadly crimes – stealing thousands of dollars in travellers’ cheques from victims.

They committed the first recorded murders in 1975.

In episode one of The Serpent, we see the duo drug American Teresa Knowlton.

They stole from her, changed her into a bikini, and drowned her to make it look like her mistake.

Ajay helped Charles commit a series of murders, robberies and passport thefts, according to the Nepal police and Interpol.

He is also suspected of burning the victims’ bodies to prevent quick identification.

Finally, Ajay was involved in the double murder of American backpacker Connie Jo Bronzich and her companion Canadian Laurent Carriere in Kathmandu.

“After the discovery of the bodies, we traced Ajay Chowdhury to a hotel in Kathmandu,” said Bishwa Lal Shrestha, who was the police officer investigating the case in 1975.

“But he gave us the slip.”

The Serpent episodic
Charles and Ajay preyed on young, naive travellers (Credit: BBC One)

Read more: Death in Paradise on BBC One: Is Ralf Little married? Does he have kids?

Where is Ajay now?

According to a book published on Charles Sobhraj, Ajay was sent on an errand to collect gems from a mining town in Malaysia in 1976.

When he returned, he and Charles went into a jungle together… But only Charles returned.

Did Charles murder his own henchman? Or did the pair simply part ways amicably?

Seems unlikely!

The truth is, Ajay has been presumed dead for many years.

According to the BBC One drama The Serpent, Ajay was last spotted in Germany in late 1976.

He has never been seen again.

Ajay Chowdhury in The Serpent
Ajay Chowdhury has not been seen since 1976 – so he could still be at large (Credit: BBC One)

Who plays him in The Serpent?

Amesh Edireweera plays the shady character in The Serpent.

This is Amesh’s first major television role, after years in theatre.

Talking about his role in The Serpent, Amesh said: “The whole story is completely mental.

“Ajay is interesting because there are no direct accounts of him – just some evidence from other people speaking about him.

“For me, the greatest shock was hearing his parents talk about him.

“They described him as such a ‘good boy’ and ‘clever’. […] I felt a real sense of sorrow for the family.”


The Serpent airs on Sundays at 9pm on BBC One. The whole series is now available to watch on iPlayer.

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Helen Fear
TV Editor

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