Enforcement Directorate looks to identify more assets of Zakir Naik

The investigators are trying to identify more properties owned by Naik.

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is trying to tighten its grip around controversial Islamic preacher and televangelist Zakir Naik. The investigators are trying to identify more properties owned by Naik.

Sources in the ED said that probe has hinted that properties might have been registered in the name of his family members and hence the agency is conducting detailed scrutiny of the same.

“The money sent by Naik between 2013 and 2016 was used by his aide Amir Gazdar. We had attached Naik’s properties in February. However, it seems that he owns more properties in Mumbai. We are trying to identify them,” said an ED officer.

The ED has attached Naik’s various assets, including his investment in mutual fund worth Rs 9.41 crore.

Islamic Education Trust’s school in Chennai worth Rs 7.05 crore, a godown of Naik’s media arm, M/s Harmony Media Pvt Ltd worth Rs 68 lakh and bank accounts of IRF that had deposits worth Rs 1.23 crore.

The ED officials also stated that they also had an option of seeking revocation of his passport, however, they said that since Naik is not in India currently, they would not rush into it. Earlier in May, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has sought a red corner notice (RCN) from the Interpol against Naik.

The officials said that they were also taking steps slowly to seek Naik’s passport revocation as it did not turn out to be fruitful in the case of liquor baron Vijay Mallya. “That option is open, and we may take that step but not anytime soon,” added the ED officer.

While the ED is stepping up the investigation against Naik, there were reports that he had secured Saudi Arabian citizenship. However, Naik issued a statement through his representative, refuting the claims.

“The news of Saudi citizenship is false unless Allah wills. This is how media prints gossip as facts,” said Arif Malik, Naik’s spokesperson. He also added that it was a statement sent out by Naik himself.

Case Timeline
December 2016: The ED registered a case under prevention of money laundering act (PMLA) against Zakir Naik.

February 2017: ED arrested Amir Gazdar, Zakir Naik’s close confidant who handled funds to the tune of Rs 200 crore that were sent by Naik to India between 2013-2016

February 2017: ED sends fourth summons to Zakir Naik for questioning him in the money laundering case

March 2017: ED attached Naik’s properties worth Rs 18.3 crore as per the provisions of PMLA

April 2017: ED approached court for issuance of letter rogatory (LR) to United Arab Emirates (UAE) seeking details of Naik’s properties in Dubai and other cities

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