There is an extremely famous conman in India who was able to sell the Taj Mahal three times, along with various other famous Indian buildings and monuments. It might sound like a joke, but this was a terrible reality India was facing before modern times and the arrival of the Internet.
The conman was known as Natwarlel, and today he is known as one of the biggest conmen in the whole of India. In fact, he is so infamous for committing fraud that in India when talking about fraudsters you may hear them simply being referred to as Natwarlels. Every time some form of fraud happens in India, the press and media normally always compare it to Natwarlel.
He was known to have once said the following to a judge:
“Leave me free for an hour and I’ll get thousands and thousands of rupees from the same street where I took money. And the people would give it to me willingly.”
Some of his jaw-dropping frauds just leave us wondering how in the world he could have done such a thing, for example, he was so good at forging signatures he was able to forge Dr. Rajendra Prasad’s signature on multiple occasions to allow him to sell Indian heritage sites. Prasad at the time was the Indian President, and by forging his signature he was able to sell the Taj Mahal three times. He also in the same fashion sold the Red Fort, the Rashtrapati Bhavan and even the Parliament of India – which had 545 MPs sitting in it!
As one might expect Natwarlel had multiple aliases, but what may surprise you is that he had 50 known aliases. And the reason he was able to stay free for so long was that he was also a Robin Hood figure for his village, he would use the money he got via fraud to the needy people of the village.
Like a career criminal, he has a lengthy arrest record with over nine arrests and multiple prison sentences, and in 1957 he even escaped from prison. By stealing a police officers uniform, he walked out of the prison casually. This infamous escape he pulled off at the age of 84 and was last seen at the New Delhi railway station before never being seen again.