Is Rape Accused Godman Nithyananda Operating Account From Vanuatu?
Questions have been raised as to whether Nithyananda has fled to Vanuatu or just operates his account from there.
Is rape-accused godman Nithyananda, who is currently on the run from Indian authorities, running his business from a bank account in the Pacific island country of Vanuatu? An email sent by a confidante of Nithyananda to a person who sought details regarding payment for prayer ceremonies, asks disciples to deposit money in a bank account based out of the Republic of Vanuatu.
It is pertinent to note that the island has a global reputation for being a tax haven with no corporate or personal taxes. The country in the south Pacific Ocean is neighboured by Fiji, the Solomon Islands, and New Guinea. It also has banking secrecy laws, providing confidentiality to clients which makes it more attractive as a tax haven.
The mail provides an account number for 'Kailaasa Limited' in the Port Vila branch of the National Bank of Vanuatu, the largest bank in the country. Port Vila is the capital of Vanuatu. However, the remitting address is listed as 'Kailaasa Limited', which is about two minutes away from the National Bank of Vanuatu on Kumul Highway.
Terming the rape-accused the most persecuted guru of the 21st century, the message offers a ‘Dial The Avatar’ calling option for donations above 1000 dollars. The email further said: “BUT ANYONE CAN DONATE ANY AMOUNT as guru Dakshina. Names will be chanted in sankalpa mantra on the 1st January 2020”.
The self-styled godman has been absconding since 2019 following charges of rape against him and allegations of child abuse against his ashram. The latest development also raises question as to whether Nithyananda has fled to Vanuatu or simply operates his account from the island. Further, links to forms to be filled up, in English and Mandarin, enable devotees to update their payment details on the Nithyananda.org website.
Even as speculation has been mounting regarding the whereabouts of the godman, the Union Home Ministry recently asked the Karnataka government to consider steps to secure a Red Corner Notice against him. This month, a blue corner notice was issued by Interpol based on Gujarat police's request.
South American country Ecuador recently denied having given asylum to Nithyananda and suggested that he may have fled to Haiti.
The godman, however, continues to make regular appearances in videos on his social media accounts. Recently, his purported 'nation' of 'Kailaasa' created a furore when the ashram invited applications for the setting up of a country by “dispossessed Hindus from around the world who lost the right to practice Hinduism authentically in their own countries.”
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