The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached properties worth nearly Rs 18 crores of controversial televanglist Dr Zakir Naik's Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and others in the Prevention of a money laundering act case.
Most of these properties are in Mumbai, while one of them is in Chennai. The assests include mutual funds worth Rs 9.41crores, some flats, godowns, and bank balance and also the building of Peace International School in Chennai.
"These properties are proceeds of crime and were generated by Naik and his associates. Naik had earned them through his provocative speeches," a senior ED official told mid-day. The officer added that if details of more properties cropped up during the investigation then they would also be attached.
For his provocative speeches, NIA in November 2016 had lodged a case under sections 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language) of IPC and relevant sections of UAPA under UAPA against Naik. After which ED had lodged a PMLA case.
Naik, who is believed to have received huge funds through his illegal activities, is facing charges of allegedly money laundering nearly Rs 200 crores.
Naik had established certain dummy companies in India and abroad to camouflage the diversion of funds received through his illegal activities. To accomplish these activities he took the help of his associates, including his money manager Amir Gazdar, who is a director in at least six of companies linked to Naik, and was arrested by ED few weeks ago.
These companies are Harmony Media Pvt. Ltd, Long Last Construction Pvt Ltd, Majestic Perfumes Pvt. Ltd, Alpha lubricants Pvt Ltd, Islamic Research Foundation International (UK), Universal Broadcasting Corporation Ltd (UK) and Lord Inc. Corporation Ltd. (UK).
ED had also questioned Naik's sister, Nailah Naushad Noorani, who is the other director and additional director of shell companies linked to the suspicious transactions.
Meanwhile, National Investigation Agency (NIA) has issued another notice to Zakir Naik, asking him to appear at its headquarter on 30 March. Naik is believed to be staying in Saudi Arabia.