Friday, June 14, 2024

Nirvana Hank, tycoon’s daughter, in hot water over viral video

What do you do if you’re the daughter of a filthy rich gambling tycoon? Show off your pet giraffe on social media, of course.

The 22-year-old influencer daughter of Jorge Hank Rhon, owner of the sports betting company Grupo Caliente and a former mayor of Tijuana, hit the headlines this week after she posted a video to TikTok and Instagram featuring a giraffe in the yard of her family’s home.

“I’m Nirvana Hank, of course I don’t have giraffes in the yard of my home,” she says before the video reveals that she indeed does – well, one at least.

In the clip, Hank shows off other parts of her Tijuana home, including a “monkey island.”

The video was a response to one of the countless “trends” that come and go on TikTok.

Nirvana found herself in something akin to purgatory after she posted it for the viewing pleasure of her hundreds of thousands of followers as she came under criticism from many social media users, some of who questioned the legality of keeping wild animals as pets (permits can be obtained if certain requirements are met), and noted that her father has been suspected of trafficking exotic animals.

Hank Rhon was fined US $25,000 in 1991 when authorities in San Diego found a white tiger cub in his car, while he was detained at Mexico City airport in 1995 after ivory and skins of endangered animals were discovered in his luggage.

One social media user questioned how it was possible “that Nirvana Hank has a giraffe and a monkey island at her house when her father is accused of trafficking exotic animals.”

The publication of her video came at a time when there is heightened concern for the wellbeing of giraffes in Mexico as the result of the much-publicized case of Benito, a three-year-old male specimen who was transferred from unsafe living conditions at a public park in Chihuahua to a spacious safari park in Puebla last month.

The organization Salvemos a Benito (Let’s Save Benito) denounced the presence of a giraffe in the Hank family home and accused environmental authorities of failing to uphold their duty to protect wildlife.

Hank Rhon is accused of involvement with organized crime, and has been charged with wildlife trafficking in the past. (Cuartoscuro)

While Nirvana Hank was certainly seeking attention when she uploaded her social media video, the kind she got apparently wasn’t what she was looking for and she consequently decided to remove it from her social media accounts, albeit not before countless copies were made.

The influencer – who describes herself as an “alcoholic, speaker and [horse] rider” on her TikTok and Instagram – is one of 23 (yes 23!) children and step-children of Jorge Hank Rhon, who has been suspected of involvement in criminal activity including drug trafficking.

The ex-mayor, a México state native who also owns the Tijuana Xolos professional soccer club, was the runner-up in the 2021 gubernatorial election in Baja California.

Not long before the election, then Governor Jaime Bonilla accused Hank Rhon of being the head of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel in the northern border state and described him as the biggest criminal Baja California has ever seen.

With reports from Aristegui Noticias

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