Liberia: ‘Fraudster’ Indian ‘Pastor’ Denied Entry Into Liberia And Declared “Nat’l Security Threats”

Monrovia — Manoj Kumar alias Manoj Kumar Vatwani, who has allegedly been parading himself as the “pastor” of the Geeta Ashram (Indian Hindu Temple), has once again been exposed for telling people that he is the general manager, priest or pastor of the Geeta Ashram, the Indian worship center down Waterside, Water Street, Monrovia.

In a notice of concern to the general public published July 30th 2022, the head of the Temple, Mr. Laxmandas T. Bhojwani, states: “This is to inform everyone concerned that I the undersigned Laxmandas T. Bhojwani, President of Geeta Ashram (Society of Geeta Ashram Inc. Legal registered entity as per the laws of the Republic of Liberia,) Waterside, Monrovia, Liberia, since 2003 here certify that Manoj Kumar alias Manoj Kumar Vatwani was only a devotee of the Geeta Ashram.”

According to the temple’s president, Vatwani never served as general manager, priest or pastor of the Geeta Ashram. He added: “He was a regular devotee only.” Bhojwani clarifies further, “All the information being circulated about his position in Geeta Ashram as General Manager, Priest or Pastor is false, baseless and misleading.”

He further stated, “We wish to clarify that Geeta Ashram is operating very well as per the Hindu religious traditions and is opened to Devotees daily. We celebrate all our Hindu festivals and other events regularly. The Geeta Ashram/Indian Temple has been functioning very well since its inception. Every Sunday we have regular weekly service from 9am to 1pm.”

One of the temple’s devotees, who spoke to this newspaper on condition of anonymity, described Manoj as a “fraudster”, whom he said “faked things for his own selfish gains.”

Vatwani was refused entry into the country by the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) and was put on a plane and sent to Ghana in 2021.

Back in September 2021, he had sued the LIS at the Sixth Judicial Circuit Civil Law Court for being refused entry into Liberia at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) on September 14, 2021. Vatwani had petitioned the court that on that day, when he was refused entry, he was put back on a place and sent to Ghana onward to India. He argued that he had committed no crimes and that he needed to know why he wasn’t let in. After all his claims, he had petitioned the court to grant him permission to return to Liberia as a “right.” He had asked the court for “Declaratory Judgment.”

In their response, which was filed on October 28, 2021, through the Ministry of Justice, the LIS contends among other things that “a country may grant a visa or deny a visa to anyone without an explanation. That Petitioner Manoj Kumar uses multiple names such as Manoj Kumar or Manoj Kumar Vastwani and that Petitioner has lied under oath in making false and misleading representation that he is in Monrovia by the Caption of the Petition.”

The Liberian Government, through the LIS, further contended, according to the court document in the possession of this newspaper that “Petitioner is an undesirable alien and a threat to National Security who was being investigated but fled the country and evaded immigration authorities when an indictment was issued to be served on him. That Petitioner behavior was incompatible with his status as an alien therefore his reentry visa was cancelled because the Statute grants Respondent the Power to revoke and cancel and deny visas to alien.”

In Judge J. Kennedy Peabody’s ruling on December 2, 2021, he upheld the request of the Ministry of Justice and denied Vastwani from entering Liberia.

Back in December 2021 in India, Manoj and three other Indian men were being investigated for molestation of an Indian woman.

The news outlet, Amar Ujala, which reported on the alleged molestation by Manoj disclosed that a police charge sheet from Liberia back in September 2020 states that Manoj was expelled from Liberia after he had been accused of criminal conspiracy, fraud, acting under a fake name and terroristic threat. “There had been a plan to arrest him on September 9, 2020, when he fled the country,” the Amar Ujala said.

Manoj was one of four men against whom the female resident of Sindhunagar had filed a molestation complaint with police. The other men were Pradeep Rajani, Raju Rajani and Vinny Rajani, according to the news outlet.

Further in the report, Manoj and others harassed the lady, regarding a dispute over a plot of land.

The woman had alleged that Manoj, Pradeep, Raju and Vinny, all residents of Sindhunagar, wanted to occupy her house. According to her, Manoj and others had tried unsuccessfully many times to get her plot and that on December 21st, 2021, the four accused entered her house by breaking the door. When she resisted, the accused assaulted her and tore her clothes.

She had further told the police that she was injured when Manoj and his men began dragging her. According to her, because she began to shout and called for help made them to leave and fled when the crowd started to gather around.

The Baradari Area Police depot had launched an investigation into the allegations.

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