Lonely planet rocked by fraud scandal

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London, Apr 14 (UNI) Popular guide book giant Lonely Planet has suffered a severe blow to its credibility, with one of its authors admitting to plagiarising and making up huge slabs of his books.

Thomas Kohnstamm who has worked on more than a dozen guides, including the titles on Brazil, Colombia, South America, the Caribbean, Venezuela and Chile, said in one case he had not even visited the country he was writing about.

''They didn't pay me enough to go to Colombia. I wrote the book in San Francisco,'' he said in a biography Do Travel Writers Go To Hell? ''I got the information from a girl I was dating - an intern at the Colombian consulate,'' Daily Mail quoted him as saying.

He also claimed to have accepted free travel, breaking the publisher's policy aimed at maintaining the independence of its authors.

''We are now urgently reviewing all current books Mr Kohnstamm contributed to,'' said Chief Executive Judy Slatyer.

Mr Kohnstamm's confession was a severe blow to Lonely Planet, considered a bible to travellers all over the world.

More than six million of its country guides are sold each year.

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