New Delhi: Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached properties worth Rs 16.40 crores in Mumbai and Pune, under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)in the case of Zakir Naik, an official statement said here on Saturday.
The federal financial probe agency move comes after the charge sheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on October 26, 2017 against Dr Zakir Naik and others. According to NIA charge sheet, the accused Zakir Naik deliberately and maliciously insulted the religious beliefs of Hindus, Christians and non-Wahabi Muslims, particularly Shia, Sufi and Barelwis, with intention of outraging their religious feelings.
"Islamic Research Foundation and Harmony Media have been instrumental in maximum circulation of such incriminating speeches. For such activities the accused was receiving funds from Islamic Research foundation as well as other unknown sources", NIA alleged in the charge sheet.
During ED investigation under PMLA, the probe agency had already made two provisional attachments to Rs 34.09 crore. Further investigations revealed that funds to the tune of Rs 49.20 crore were received in the Non-Resident External (NRE) bank accounts of accused Zakir Naik in India from his Dubai accounts.
"The origin of these deposits was from unknown sources and Zakir Naik used this funds to the tune of Rs 17.65 crore for purchase of properties from builders Salim Kodia of MK Enterprises, Munaf Vadgama of Aafiyah Realtors, Sameer Khan of partner in Pacific Orient Genesis Associates and others in their projects Fatima Heights (Mumbai), Aafiyah Heights (Mumbai), ENGRACIA (Pune) in a project at Bhandup (Mumbai)", the probe agency said.
In order to disguise the origin of funds and real ownership of properties, the initial payment made from the account of Dr Zakir Naik were refunded and diverted to the accounts of his wife, son and niece and rerouted again for the purpose of making bookings in the name of family members rather than Dr Zakir Naik, the investigation agency officials said.
This has been revealed from the money trail established by ED. The total attachment as proceeds of crime in this case is Rs 50.49 crore including the present attachment, the probe agency added.(UNI)