Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached properties worth Rs. 16.40 Crores in Mumbai and Pune, under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the case of Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.
During the course of PMLA investigation, ED had already made two provisional attachments totalling to Rs 34.09 Crores. Further investigations revealed that funds to the tune of Rs. 49.20 Crore were received in the Non-resident Rupee Account (NRE) Bank accounts of accused Zakir Naik in India from his Dubai accounts. The origin of these deposits was from unknown sources. Zakir Naik used the funds to the tune of Rs. 17.65 crore for purchase of properties from builders - Salim Kodia who is a partner in M/s MK Enterprises, Munaf Vadgama, partner in M/s Aafiyah Realtors, Sameer Khan, partner in M/s Pacific Orient Genesis Associates and Musa Lakdawala, partner of M/s Lakdawala & Yash Associates in their projects like Fatima Heights (Mumbai), Aafiyah Heights (Mumbai), ENGRACIA (Pune) and in a project at Bhandup, Mumbai.
Money trail established by ED revealed that in order to disguise the origin of funds and real ownership of properties, the initial payment made from the account of Zakir
Naik were 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. “The total attachment as Proceeds of Crime in this case is Rs. 50.49 Crores including the present attachment. Further investigation is in progress,” a statement released by ED said.
ED initiated investigation on the basis of Charge sheet filed by National Investigation Agency (NIA) on October 26 before the court of Special Judge, National Investigation Agency (NIA), Mumbai against Zakir Naik and others. According to the NIA Charge Sheet, the accused, Zakir Naik deliberately and maliciously insulted the religious beliefs of Hindus, Christians and non-Wahabi Muslims, particularly Shia, Sufi and Barelwis, with intention of outraging their religious feelings. Islamic Research Foundation and M/s. Harmony Media have been instrumental in maximum circulation of such incriminating speeches. For such activities the accused was receiving funds from Islamic Research foundation as well as other unknown sources, states the release from ED.