FRAUD: The Amazing Career of Dr. Savundra by John & Douglas Sutherland Connell

FRAUD: The Amazing Career of Dr. Savundra

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The cheeky career of Michael Marion Emil Anacletus Savundranayagam, as he was first known in his native Ceylon, is neatly described with a clipped British accent. ""Doctor"" Savundra early on kept Interpol hopping with a series of complex swindles involving nonexistent commodities such as oil for China, coffee from Costa Rica, rice for Goa, and assorted minerals from Ghana. With a theatrical charm and a truly lavish talent for the bogus, he later took on London's international money moguls in a scheme which eventually diverted the auto insurance premium payments of 400,000 drivers to his own private and sundry uses. Such uses included power boat racing, donations to the Church, fancy ladies, and untraceable deposits in private banks. The cast of supporting players seems to have been planned by the antic spirit of Dickens: foxy uncle Sir Chittampalam, entrepreneur Shiv Kapoor, front man Cecil Tross Youle, investigator Norman Nail, barrister John Buzzard, loyal wife Pushpam. When it all fell in, Savundra's periodic and histrionic heart attacks could no longer shield him. There was a disastrous confrontation with David Frost, a marathon courtroom drama in the Old Bailey, and a spell in Wormwood Scrubs. Savundra died in the midst of plans to make his dutiful Pushpam the Queen of northern Ceylon. ""When you English see a loop-hole in the law, you drive a Mini Minor through it; I, Savundra, drive a Rolls-Royce,"" he had said. Here we are provided with an entertaining and diligent road map of his jaunt through a world of fraudulent high finance.

Pub Date: April 23rd, 1979
Publisher: Stein & Day