London: Prince Charles is furious that he was not informed that a 52-year-old Sikh, who was invited to Queen Elizabeth's Royal Barge by Charles himself as a leading member of the Sikh community, was a convicted sex offender.
Harbinder Singh Rana was found guilty in August 1986 of five counts of indecent assault, 11 counts of assault causing actual bodily harm and one count of attempted assault, the Daily Mail reported.
Posing as a doctor, he performed internal examinations and administered injections to at least 10 women.
Rana served four years in prison, but has now become an important member of the Indian-origin community.
During the afternoon sail Sunday, Rana came in close contact with every senior royal including Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camilla, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Rana was accompanied on the boat by his 22-year-old daughter Kamalpreet.
The man was invited to join the celebrations by Charles, whom he met through his charity work for the Anglo-Sikh Heritage Trail, a group that promotes Sikh culture in Britain.
MPs have now demanded an investigation into the security blunder.
Bartholomew Leigh, 76, a retired detective sergeant who led the investigation into Rana's crimes in the 1980s, described him as a "con merchant".
"This man was a con merchant who was convicted of a number of serious crimes on several victims. If he is capable of posing as a doctor to molest young women in their own homes, it makes you wonder what else he could be capable of," Leigh said.
The former detective officer said that at least two newspaper articles relating to Rana's case could be found on internet using a simple Google search, suggesting even basic checks on his background had not been carried out.
Rana has now been banned from all future events involving the royal family.
A source told the Daily Mirror that Charles wanted to know how Rana was able to get so close to him.
"Understandably, Charles is extremely angry that he has been put in a position where he has had close contact with a convicted sex offender on more than a few occasions," the source said.
"He is determined to know how such a situation could have arisen. There is no question that had he known about Rana's criminal record, he would never have been invited on the Royal Barge."
"But he also wants to know why this information has not been made available to him in the past as he has met Rana at least five times since 1999," the source said.
At the time of the offences, Rana was a 26-year-old researcher working in the social services department of Wolverhampton Council. He targeted 10 women -- one of whom was pregnant -- after finding their details stored at work.
Posing as a doctor, complete with medical bag, bottles and needles, he bluffed his way into his victims' homes, claiming he needed to carry out intimate examinations.
Rana was senior vice-president of the 30,000-strong International Sikh Youth Federation at the time. He now lives along with his 50-year-old wife Parkash in Walsall, West Midlands.
He had been invited to attend the flotilla by Charles's office three weeks ago.
Rana met Charles more than a decade ago through the Anglo-Sikh Heritage Trail.
On the group's Facebook page, Rana is described as being a "close friend" of the prince. In 2006, he acted as Charles's guide on his tour of Punjab.
First Published: Friday, June 08, 2012, 18:38