Controversial Islamic preacher, Zakir Naik, is under Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) lens for offences under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The agency has attached properties worth Rs 16.40 crore in Mumbai and Pune in the case, reports The Hindu Business Line.
Throughout PMLA investigation, ED officially made two provisional attachments amounting to Rs 34.09 crore. Further investigations revealed that funds to the tune of Rs 49.20 crore were received in the Non-resident Rupee Account (NRE) of the accused Zakir Naik’s bank accounts in India from his Dubai accounts. The origin of these funds remains unknown.
Zakir Naik used the funds to the tune of Rs 17.65 crore to buy properties in projects like Fatima Heights (Mumbai), Aafiyah Heights (Mumbai), ENGRACIA (Pune) and a venture at Bhandup, Mumbai. The builders involved include Salim Kodia from M/s MK Enterprises, Munaf Vadgam from M/s Aafiyah Realtors, Sameer Khan from M/s Pacific Orient Genesis Associates, and Musa Lakdawala, partner of of M/s Lakdawala & Yash Associates.
In attempt to disguise the origin of funds and the real ownership of properties, the initial payment from Zakir Naik’s account was diverted to those of his wife, son and niece to buy properties in the name of relatives, as revealed by the money trail established by ED.
“The total attachment as Proceeds of Crime, in this case, is Rs 50.49 crore including the present attachment. Further investigation is in progress,” said a statement released by ED.
The investigation was initiated by ED on the basis of chargesheet filed by National Investigation Agency (NIA) on 26 October, 2018 before the court of Special Judge, NIA, Mumbai, against Zakir Naik and others.
According to the chargesheet, Zakir Naik deliberately and maliciously insulted the religious beliefs of Hindus, Christians as well as Muslims who didn’t follow the Wahhabi-Salafist ideology preached by him. Naik is accused of making crass remarks against Hindus, Christians, Shia, Sufi and Barelwis, with intention of outraging their religious feelings.
For such activities the accused was receiving funds from Islamic Research foundation as well as other unknown sources, states the ED release, adding that the Islamic Research Foundation and M/s. Harmony Media have been instrumental in maximum circulation of Zakir Naik’s incriminating speeches.
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