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Swallowed knife fails to stop India charging suspected conman

Swallowed knife fails to stop India charging suspected conman

The Indian businessman had spent years evading authorities around the world, fleeing accusations that he'd run elaborate bank scams. 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 10-centimeter (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 US$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.
Upon new Delhi's request, Interpol issued an international warrant for him in June, 2002. He was arrested in Munich six months later. In April 2003, German authorities agreed to extradite Ghosh to India, a decision he appealed to German courts because he feared he would be tortured in Indian custody, said his German lawyer, Bernhard Knies.
Out of desperation, Ghosh came up with a final plan, Knies said. He swallowed the knife.
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Associated Press Writer Melissa Eddy contributed to this report from Berlin.