Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case against Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and his NGO, the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), to probe alleged irregularities related to receipt of funds from abroad. While the ED will be accessing case-related information from the National Investigation Agency (NIA), it currently has under its scanner irregularities related to funds worth around Rs 60 crore, sources said.
"We will be probing on the grounds of the case registered by NIA but will focus on the financial transactions. There are transactions worth around Rs 60 crore of IRF and Zakir Naik that a team will be probing into. We will take information from Mumbai police's EOW team if needed," a source said.
Earlier, NIA in November had registered a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against Naik and the IRF for alleged irregularities. The NIA registered a case against Naik under sections 10 and 13 and other various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
After NIA registered the case against IRF, the teams had conducted searches on 20 premises of IRF, including family friends of the preacher. The NIA's FIR has accused Naik of making speeches that spread communal disharmony. According to ED officials, the probe will continue in collaboration with NIA but will focus on the proceeds of crime.
The Union government had declared the IRF a forbidden organisation under the anti-terror law for its alleged terror activities, following which the Maharashtra government said it would keep a close eye on locals and organisations funding the IRF and would be treated as “anti-social.”