Agency’s counsel claimed Sathak helped preacher to launder money.
Mumbai: A special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Friday remanded Abdul Kadir Najmuddin Sathak, a jeweller by profession and an alleged aide of controversial televangelist Dr Zakir Naik, in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) until March 27.
Seeking Sathak's custody, ED counsel Hiten Venegaonkar had contended before special PMLA judge M.S. Azmi that the accused runs a broadcasting company in the United Arab Emirates and helped broadcast controversial speeches of Dr Naik and also helped him carry out money laundering.
The ED had first apprehended him at Delhi International Airport in December 2018, when he was trying to go to the UAE, but he was arrested only on Friday. As per the ED, after registration of FIR against Dr Naik, it also registered a case and, during the probe into the matter, the statement of Dr Naik's sister Nailah Noorani and other persons who were directors of companies owned by Dr Naik were recorded.
These statements sho-wed that M/s Harmony Media Pvt Ltd (HMPL) is involved in producing TV talks, which is exported to M/s Global Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Dubai for telecasting the same as per the rate fixed by Dr Naik. According to the ED in 2006, M/s GBC was established for launching the channel Peace TV where Sathak and S.M. Khalil were partners in the ratio of 50 per cent each and invested 1.25 million dirhams each.
Mr Venegaonkar sought Sathak's custody, saying he has not come clean about the nature of his personal interactions and with whom he was dealing with in order to carry out the agreements between HMPL and GBC. His replies to the agency were evasive, he stated.
According to the ED, Sathak claimed that the revenue of GBC was generated out of donations received from corporations owned by the crown prince of the UAE or his family or from the family directly or other donors and not from advertisements, which is ordinarily the norm in the media industry. “It, therefore, appears that the UAE and the other Emirates funded the Peace TV and the content production for Peace TV channel for reasons beyond pious religious activities and Sathak is direct player in the matter, being one of the directors of GBC,” Mr Venegaonkar claimed.