By Anish Chand
The Wakaya Island has been mentioned in a high-profile court-case in the United States involving a sex cult group known as NXIVM.
Media reports in the USA are calling the case the “Sun, Sea, Sand and Sex cults: Inside the FJD$97 million Fijian Island Paradise.”
Wakaya in the Lomaiviti Group was reportedly bought by billionaire Seagrams heiress Clare Bronfman while she oversaw the branding of the cult NXIVM, reports the USA media.
Bronfman is said to own 80 per cent of Wakaya – a 3.1 square mile private island near Ovalau.
The island is believed to act as a safe haven for leaders of NXIVM in the event prosecutions break out.
Bronfman was indicted on racketeering conspiracy charges on Tuesday and has been released after posting $100 million bail. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis set her bail to the astounding figure after prosecutors deemed her a flight risk due to her FJD$416 million net worth and her stake on Wakaya Island.
Bronfman’s attorney Susan R. Necheles, one of the top white-collar attorneys in the USA, had sought her release on a FJD$53 million bond. Necheles told the court that Bronfman is in the process of developing a resort on Wakaya.
In a statement, Necheles called the charges ‘the result of government overreaching and charging an individual with crimes just because the government disagrees with some beliefs taught by NXIVM and held by Clare.’
Reports suggest Clare Bronfman bought the stake in Wakaya using her family’s fortune while allegedly financing Keith Rainere’s sex cult NXIVM.
Bronfman was allowed to walk free from court after agreeing to wear an ankle monitoring bracelet.