Tightening the rope around Zakir Naik, the Enforcement Directorate has moved an application in the Mumbai Court to declare him as a fugitive economic offender. The application comes after a fresh non-bailable warrant that was issued against the Islamic hate speaker by a special Mumbai Court.
The ED is set to invoke the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act against Zakir Naik, who is currently in Malaysia after it was invoked in the case of Vijay Mallya.
Putting the Islamic hate speaker under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act will allow the ED to attach and confiscate all properties of Zakir Naik. It will also restrict Naik from claiming his properties and will have massive economic ramifications.
Earlier, the ED had attached Naik's properties, including Islamic International School in Chennai, ten flats, three godowns, two buildings and land in Pune and Mumbai, besides bank accounts.
A special court on Wednesday issued a fresh non-bailable warrant against fugitive Islamic preacher Zakir Naik in the 2016 alleged money laundering case.
The warrant was issued by Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court judge PP Rajvaidya on a plea filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which is probing the case. Last week, Zakir Naik had moved a plea through his lawyer seeking time for two months to appear before the court, which was rejected. The E Enforcement Directorate on Monday moved a fresh plea seeking the NBW.
The Enforcement Directorate has claimed to have identified Rs. 193.06 crore as the proceeds of crime in the 2016 case. The Enforcement Directorate booked him in 2016 on an FIR filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The controversial preacher is wanted by authorities for alleged money laundering and inciting extremism through hate speeches.
India has been 'persistently and relentlessly' pursuing the extradition of Zakir Naik, Foreign Minister Jaishankar claimed to refute the statement of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. The Malaysian PM had claimed that PM Modi did not raise the extradition of Zakir Naik during their meeting earlier in September.
He said, "There is an extradition request (sent in January 2018). We want Zakir Naik back and that is what we are working on."
Zakir Naik, a 53-year-old radical television preacher, reportedly left India in 2016 and subsequently moved to Malaysia, where he was granted permanent residency. However, India has been attempting to extradite the hate-speech preacher.
(With PTI inputs)