The Enforcement Directorate (ED), a financial crimes investigation agency of India, has filed a chargesheet against renowned religious preacher Zakir Naik, accusing him of money laundering.
It identified assets worth INR 193 crore and attached properties valued at INR 50.46 crores in the case so far.
The chargesheet has been filed in the Mumbai special court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The attached properties include investments in mutual funds, the Islamic International School building in Chennai, 10 flats, three godowns, two buildings, and land in Pune and Mumbai, besides 10 bank accounts, said the agency.
The ED has also identified properties linked to Naik in Dubai and London. Its probe is based on an FIR lodged by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for his alleged role in unlawful activities by the use of provocative utterances and for promoting enmity between different religious groups in India, reported The Hindu.
The agency said most of Zakir Naik’s speeches, from 2007 and 2011, were planned, organised, funded and promoted by the Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation (IRF).
The ED probe revealed that Mumbai-based Harmony Media allegedly recorded the speeches and forwarded the edited versions to the Global Broadcasting Corporation (Dubai) and the UK-based Islamic Research Foundation International (IRFI) for further broadcast on Peace TV across the globe. DVDs were also circulated.
According to the Directorate, the IRFI received ₹64.86 crore from 2003 to 2017, “mostly from various dubious, suspicious or unknown sources. A large part of the funds was used for organising ‘PEACE’ conferences”. The agency alleged that ₹49.20 crore was transferred from 2012 to 2016 from Zakir Naik’s accounts maintained in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to his personal accounts in India.