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  Metros   Mumbai  18 Feb 2017  Zakir Naik used donations to buy land: ED

Zakir Naik used donations to buy land: ED

THE ASIAN AGE. | SAURABH M JOSHI
Published : Feb 18, 2017, 1:35 am IST
Updated : Feb 18, 2017, 6:32 am IST

Investigators said that Gazdar, during his first questioning on Feb 7, lied to officials that he had no connection with the said companies.

Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik (Photo: PTI)
 Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik (Photo: PTI)

Mumbai: Islamic preacher and televangelist Zakir Naik allegedly used two of his England-based companies as fronts to receive foreign donations, later using the money to buy properties in Mumbai , revealed the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Officials said that Naik’s close confidante and arrested accused, Amir Gazdar, was among the directors of both companies—Universal Broadcasting Corporation Ltd. and Lords Production Inc. Ltd.—and played a pivotal role in the alleged money laundering.

 

A senior ED official, requesting anonymity, said, “The money received as donations, around Rs 60 crore, was used to buy properties and also diverted into several trusts set up by Naik. We are gathering details of these investments to identify the properties that were bought. Till now, we have not found the donation money being diverted out of country.”

Investigators said that Gazdar, during his first questioning on February 7, lied to officials that he had no connection with the said companies. Officials however traced documents bearing Gazdar’s signature as director of the companies and he was again summoned for questioning on February 16 and confronted with the papers. It was then that he accepted his role in the case. Cash stated without origin was laundered by Gazdar who was placed under arrest Thursday night.

 

A special PMLA court remanded him to ED custody till February 22. Officials also said that statements of two other persons revealed how they were used as carriers to transfer cash.

Tags: zakir naik, enforcement directorate (ed), pmla, pmla court
Location: India, Maharashtra, Mumbai (Bombay)