Former member says money represents hidden assets
Police have turned over 2.45 million yen in cash recovered from an apartment used as a hideout by notorious cult AUM Shinrikyo to a victim support organization.
The money, described as one of the cult‘s hidden assets by a former member, was found stashed in the ceiling of a one-room apartment in Tokyo’s Akishima in March.
The room was rented by a female member of the cult between December 1996 and August 2000. After the woman moved out it was rented out by another tenant, unrelated to the cult.
However, in April 2003 an AUM representative visited the building and asked the apartment manager to let him see the bathroom vent.
After he refused, the representative asked to be contacted when the tenant moved out and left.
The money then sat there until March this year, after the tenant moved out and it was discovered by the building manager.
The Tokyo police said there were no traces indicating that the woman follower had actually lived in the apartment and it is possible that it was used as a hideout.
The Metropolitan Police Department, which handed the money to the organization after the expiration of a three-month retention period, is investigating whether the money was used to provide support for wanted AUM fugitives.
In November, 2008, it was announced that [b]ankruptcy procedures for AUM Shinrikyo have effectively ended, but victims of the 1995 sarin gas attacks on Tokyo’s subway system and other crimes by cult members have received only 40 percent of the compensation that they should have been paid, the receiver said Wednesday.