Magician disappears in river after Houdini trick

Image copyright Ei Samay

An Indian magician, who attempted to recreate Harry Houdini’s famed trick by jumping shackled into a river, is feared dead.

Chanchal Lahiri was meant to escape and swim to safety but did not emerge from the Hooghly river in West Bengal state.

Spectators who had gathered to watch him take the plunge on Sunday informed the police, who say they are searching for him.

Mr Lahiri, also known as Mandrake, was lowered into the river from a boat.

He was shackled with six locks and a chain as spectators on two boats watched him. Several people had also gathered by the shore and some stood on the landmark Howrah Bridge in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta).

Police and a team of divers canvassed the area but as of Sunday evening local time, they had been unable to find the magician. One officer told the Hindustan Times newspaper that Mr Lahiri could not be declared dead until the body was found.

Jayant Shaw, a photographer with a local newspaper, witnessed Mr Lahiri attempting the trick. He told the BBC that he spoke to him before the magician started his act.

“I asked him why he risked his life for magic,” Mr Shaw said. “He [Mr Lahiri] smiled and said, ‘If I do it right, it’s magic. If I make a mistake, it becomes tragic.'”

The magician told him that he wanted to do this trick in order “to revive interest in magic”.

This is not the first time that Mr Lahiri had attempted a risky underwater trick.

He was lowered into the same river inside a glass box more than 20 years ago but had managed to escape to safety.

Mr Shaw had also witnessed Mr Lahiri’s previous underwater trick.

“I never thought he would not come out of the water this time,” he said.

Ek Resimler:

Magician disappears in river after Houdini trick

Image copyright Ei Samay

An Indian magician, who attempted to recreate Harry Houdini’s famed trick by jumping shackled into a river, is feared dead.

Chanchal Lahiri was meant to escape and swim to safety but did not emerge from the Hooghly river in West Bengal state.

Spectators who had gathered to watch him take the plunge on Sunday informed the police, who say they are searching for him.

Mr Lahiri, also known as Mandrake, was lowered into the river from a boat.

He was shackled with six locks and a chain as spectators on two boats watched him. Several people had also gathered by the shore and some stood on the landmark Howrah Bridge in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta).

Police and a team of divers canvassed the area but as of Sunday evening local time, they had been unable to find the magician. One officer told the Hindustan Times newspaper that Mr Lahiri could not be declared dead until the body was found.

Jayant Shaw, a photographer with a local newspaper, witnessed Mr Lahiri attempting the trick. He told the BBC that he spoke to him before the magician started his act.

“I asked him why he risked his life for magic,” Mr Shaw said. “He [Mr Lahiri] smiled and said, ‘If I do it right, it’s magic. If I make a mistake, it becomes tragic.'”

The magician told him that he wanted to do this trick in order “to revive interest in magic”.

This is not the first time that Mr Lahiri had attempted a risky underwater trick.

He was lowered into the same river inside a glass box more than 20 years ago but had managed to escape to safety.

Mr Shaw had also witnessed Mr Lahiri’s previous underwater trick.

“I never thought he would not come out of the water this time,” he said.

Ek Resimler:

Italian Clooney fraudsters arrested in Thailand

Image copyright CRIME SUPPRESSION DIVISION/ ROYAL THAI POLICE

Two Italians accused of posing as US actor George Clooney to promote a fashion business have been arrested in Thailand after years on the run.

Francesco Galdelli, 58, and Vanja Goffi, 45 have been wanted on an Interpol red notice since 2013.

The Hollywood star sued them and in a 2010 trial in Italy testified against them, saying they had fraudulently used his name.

They are also accused of a series of other scams and frauds in Italy.

They had fled their home country to avoid arrest and had been dubbed the Italian Bonnie and Clyde after the legendary US gangster couple.

The two were arrested on Saturday in a joint operation of Thai and Italian authorities on the outskirts of the Thai city of Pattaya, Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division said on Sunday.

“During interrogation, Francesco confessed to claiming to be George Clooney and opening a clothes business to trick people into sending money,” news agency AFP said citing Thai police.

The pair had been living in Thailand since 2014 according to authorities. That year Mr Galdelli had been arrested but escaped during his trial.

According to Italian media, the two sustained their life in Thailand by selling fake Rolex watches online.

They will be charged for overstaying their visas before extradition proceedings begin, police said.

Ek Resimler: