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There is more trouble for Zakir Naik with India’s premier investigative agency Enforcement Directorate (ED) filing the first chargesheet against the controversial Islamic hate preacher. While this is the second chargesheet in the case, ED for the first time has named Zakir Naik in the chargesheet. The investigation against Naik and his companies is going on since 2016.
ED states that a total amount of Rs 193.06 crore has been identified as proceeds of crime. Properties worth Rs 50.46 cr have been attached which includes Islamic International School, Chennai, 10 flats, three godowns, two buildings, land in Pune and Mumbai and 10 bank accounts.
The money trail investigation done by ED reveals that Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation received around Rs 64.86 crore during the period 2003-04 to 2016-17 from various suspicious sources. The funds were utilised to organise Peace conferences. ED believes that provocative speeches were made and religious conversion was also conducted in these conferences.
According to ED, Naik received around Rs 49.20 crore between 2012 and 2016 in his bank account. The money was transferred from UAE and the ED maintains that the source of this fund is not known. The agency maintains that the funds were used to buy properties in Mumbai and Pune. These properties were bought in the name of Naik’s relatives.
The investigation has also revealed that Zakir Naik established around 7 companies in UK and India which were used to divert funds that were received by him and his trust. One of the companies, Harmony Media Pvt Ltd, Mumbai was incorporated by Dr Zakir Naik which was involved in the business of pre and post production activities of his speeches. This company received around Rs 79 cr from Global Broadcasting Corporation, Dubai. Agencies believe that Naik sold the company to a Pakistani national following the crackdown in India. ED maintains that Zakir Naik is also involved in suspicious unaccounted cash transactions
Zakir Naik is a formerly Mumbai-based televangelist accused of inciting youth for terror activities and giving inflammatory speeches and is currently residing in Malaysia.
Speaking to Republic TV immediately after the chargesheet was filed, Zakir Naik's lawyer Tariq Sayyed said, "Once I read the complaint I will be in a better position to comment. About the terror charges, I can say none of his channels promoted terror."
Following the serial blasts in Sri Lanka, two of the country's major cable TV operators dropped Zakir Naik's Peace TV from their listings. India and Bangladesh had already banned the channel which has also allegedly been used by ISIS recruiters for indoctrination and brainwashing youth.