Enforcement Directorate attaches properties tied to Zakir Naik
The Enforcement Directorate has attached properties worth Rs 16.4 crore in Mumbai and Pune under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in connection with a terror case relating to preacher Zakir Naik.
The ED had already made two provisional attachments worth Rs 34.09 crore. Further investigations revealed that funds to the tune of Rs 49.2 crore were received in Naik’s bank accounts in India from his Dubai accounts. The origin of these deposits was from unknown sources.
The directorate had started the probe on the basis of a chargesheet the National Investigation Agency had filed in October 2017.
Naik, whose Islamic Research Foundation has been banned by the Indian government under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, had left India on July 1, 2016, the day terrorists attacked a high-end café in Dhaka killing 20 people. It was alleged that Naik’s speeches had influenced one of the terrorists.
An ED media statement accused Naik of deliberately and maliciously insulting religious beliefs and said he was receiving funds for such activities. “Zakir Naik used the funds to the tune of Rs 17.65 crore for purchase of properties from builders…,” the statement said.
The agency said that in order to disguise the origin of the funds and the real ownership of properties, the initial payment made from the account of Naik was refunded and diverted to the accounts of his wife, son and niece and rerouted again for the purpose of making bookings in the name of family members rather than Naik. This has been revealed from the money trail established by the ED, the agency said.