The ED also looked into the tax returns filed by Gazdar, in the name of his wife, two sons and a daughter.
Mumbai: The investigations carried out by the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) in the money laundering case against Islamic preacher and televangelist Zakir Naik revealed that Naik had sent Rs 4 crore in the past one year to Amir Gazdar, his close confidante and a director in the six shell companies set up by him.
After receiving the money, Gazdar systematically transferred it to bank accounts of his family members and bought a BMW car and property in Mazgaon, officials said. The probe revealed that Gazdar eventually returned the money, worth Rs 4 crore to Naik though the former has yet not divulged details on how he managed to return the sum. In all, Rs 4 crore was received from Naik’s mother’s bank account by Gazdar. He then transferred Rs 2.4 crore to his son’s bank accounts. Investigators also learnt that Rs 1.6 crore was used to buy a flat in ‘Infinity Building’ at Mazgaon and a BMW car worth around Rs 25 lakh in a bid to utilise the funds that were sent by Naik.
“The money was later returned to Naik in instalments. However, Gazdar is not revealing the source of the money that he arranged to pay back. He has been claiming that he received the money, as gift, from his London-based brother and some relatives. There are no documents to prove his London transactions. He is shielding Naik,” said a senior ED officer.
The ED also looked into the tax returns filed by Gazdar, in the name of his wife, two sons and a daughter. His family has no source of income and there are several discrepancies in the I-T returns.
With Gazdar not cooperating in the investigation, the ED summoned four other directors in the six shell companies floated by Naik for laundering donations. These companies include Universal Broadcasting Corporation Ltd and Lords Production Inc Ltd, both based in England. Others are Longlast Constructions Ptv Ltd, Majestic Perfumes Pvt Ltd, Aplha Lubricants Pvt Ltd and Harmony Media Pvt Ltd, all based in Mumbai. “The directors also have not turned up for questioning. Once their statement is recorded, we would take Gazdar’s custody again to question him,” added the ED officer. Gazdar was remanded to judicial custody till March 8, on Wednesday, as ED did not seek his further