Sathya Sai Trust carve-up Baba’s secret treasure house continues
Posted by robertpriddy on June 20, 2011
Yet again funds have been apprehended as they were being spirited away from Puttaparthi. It is beginning to become evident to more and more people what exposé writers have long been claiming and documenting as far as was possible, the SS Central Trust members are largely a clique of dishonest nest-featherers, able to hide away all manner of financial transaction and crime without any chance of the public knowing.
My informant in India sums it up as follows:-
“Close on the heels of a huge cash haul in a Sathya Sai Trust van, yet another cash haul on a bus bound for Bangalore from Puttaparthi. This time its Rs 5-10 crores, contained in gunny sacks. 2 have been arrested, bringing the total number of arrests to 5 so far. The Sai Trust has denied the 35 lakhs seized on Friday was its property, although its futile now because both men have confessed with very specific details.”
Two of those (unfortunate go-betweens) arrested on Friday have already confessed their role and how the SB trust members had asked them to convey it to someone in Bangalore. According to the Times of India, “…the cash was reportedly given by Trust members V. Srinivasan and R.J. Rathnakar at Santhi Bhavan to Srinivasan’s driver Sekhar, who handed it over to Harishnanda Shetty, an engineer involved in the construction of Baba’s Maha Samadhi, to hand it over to an anonymous person in Bangalore.” Rathnakar is the nephew of Sathya Sai Baba, son of the infamous younger brother Janaki Ramiah, so one does not expect honesty from him. Srinivasan is evidently just another corrupt Trustee in a long line of swindlers, several of which Sathya Sai Baba eventually had to fire from the Trust for embezzlement (including Colonel Joga Rao for taking ‘kickbacks’, and the former head of PN ashram Narayanan for sudden unexplained major wealth. Further Dr. G. Venkataraman, the head of Radio Sai, Trustee, Vice-Chairman of the Prashanthi Council and more was the receiver of a brand new car from Trust funds! Also, the Trust’s council of management has the following members: lawyer S.S. Naganand; former Canara Bank chairman J.V. Shetty; former IOB chairman T.K.K Bhagavat; retired IAS official and Head of Prashanthi Nilayam ashram, K. Chakravarthi.
I have just received several positive reactions to the public exposure of Sai Baba’s hoarding. One example is from a person formerly quite close to him. He wrote: “It was so relieving to read news regarding the hoarded wealth at Sai Baba’s apartment (I will certainly refrain from calling it a mandir). For once, the normal Indian is in a state of shock and a very necessary shock at that. Even staunch devotees in my family who use to regularly donate a few thousand rupees and one who gave large sums (lakhs) are unable to stomach the news – for being credulous and not keeping their eyes and ears open, they are now in a state of shock.”
As to Sai Baba having hoarded Nike shoes, cameras etc., I am informed by an insider source: “These were given as presents to his chosen form boys. I have seen such cameras with the likes of Raman Mehta, Arjun Bannerjee etc. I remember once when we were inside the Poornachandra Hall, a prominent American doctor had got lots of such stuff – he had arrived few hours earlier with cameras, watches etc. as donations to Sai Baba, who had then joked that he allowed good bhaktas to get things like these in order to save them harassment from the income tax officials. Even I was presented with currency worth rs 1500/-“
As the Times of India report mentions, Its now fairly evident , according to the police, that a massive hawala racket had been operating out of Puttaparthi (hawala means transfer of illegal funds through a network of overseas and Indian operators, converting black money to white, or money laundering).
Sathya Sai Central Trust untrustworthy! After years of posting about the total unaccountability and basic untrustworthiness of the Sathya Sai Central Trust during which not a soul in India responded to my documented details or sound arguments, the authorities and the media there have at last taken the matter up, vindicating all my worst suspicions. Such well-founded articles as ‘Can We Trust the Central Trust’ by Serguei Badaev, the former leader of the Sathya Sai Organization in Moscow have been ignored by Indian newspaper editors of major newspapers there to whom they have been sent, and almost everyone else too! Devotees are indoctrinated and pressured to never think ill of anyone, or criticize anyone at all (as everyone is supposed to be God!) and especially not of Sathya Sai Baba or any of his officials! The current revelations about the total lack of external control or even filed information show just how damaging is this simplistic ‘three monkeys’ proverb that SB loves to reiterate (and devotees love yet more to parrot). As Barry Pittard had stated so pungently, this press cover-up or sheer laxity is a signal to most Indian media to buck up.
The Unaccountable Sathya Sai Central Trust Fund The body has tax and custom duty exemption as a Charitable Trust, with special allowances – tax and import duty exemption – and largely undisclosed financial advantages or support by Indian governments. As such it is not legally required to have any rules or guidelines, being run entirely by an unaccountable Board of Directors under Sathya Sai Baba as Chairman. How or to whom authority and funds are delegated is unknown, there are no minutes of meetings available and all internal matters are kept secret, including the reason for dismissals by Sai Baba of Board members or other staff. Donors cannot monitor the use of their monies in any way.
V.K. Narasimhan on the Sathya Sai Organization, Indulal Shah, embezzlements
VKN told me of power battles within the organization, and how Indulal Shah could contravene Sai Baba’s own directives because he had world-wide contact with leaders in many countries. Further, Mr. V. Ramnath of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS Vigilance official) knew a ranking Customs and Duty Officer in Delhi (where he also had an apartment) who had used her power to get access to certain Sathya Sai Central Trust accounts and found many instances of corruption and money-laundering. This lady, Mrs. Dolly Saxena, refused to reveal anything to the BBC. She had been threatened by CID officers over a period when the murders of 1993 had taken place, because her son – a Sai college student – had been under the care of Vijay Prabhu, the reputed ‘mastermind’ of the intrusion into the mandir. Her son had been thrown in prison and suffered traumas and had to be sent to the USA to continue his studies.
Colonel Joga Rao – closest servitor for decades – didn’t believe in his miracles!
Donations to the unreliable Sathya Sai Central Trust by the Priddys
‘Can We Trust the Central Trust’ by former President of the Moscow Sathya Sai Centre