Gregory Roberts

When the brilliant writer and philosophy student’s marriage broke up, he turned to heroin, and was imprisoned as punishment for a series of toy gun robberies that earned him the name “Gentleman Bandit”. In July 1980 he escaped from Victoria’s maximum-security prison in broad daylight, thereby becoming one of Australia’s most wanted men for what turned out to be the next ten years. After some startling adventures and escapes in New Zealand, Greg travelled to Bombay, India, where he set up a free health clinic in the slums, acted in Bollywood movies, worked for the Bombay mafia as a forger, counterfeiter, and smuggler and, as a gunrunner, resupplied a unit of mujaheddin guerrilla fighters in Afghanistan. He was captured in Germany in 1990 and, as Australia’s Most Wanted, imprisoned with Europe’s most notorious terrorists. After being extradited to Australia, he completed his prison sentence, established a small multi-media company, and is now a full-time writer living in Melbourne. Greg’s novel, 'Shantaram', based on his wild and wicked life, has been described as a masterpiece. The Hollywood movie version of the novel is set to begin in 2005 starring Johnny Depp.

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