ED files first direct charge sheet against Islamic hate preacher Zakir Naik, accuses him of creating enmity among people, money laundering

The ED Thursday filed its first direct charge sheet against controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik on charges of laundering criminal money to the tune of Rs 193 crore and allegedly creating illegal real estate assets worth crores in India and abroad, officials said.

The Rs 193 crore as donations were used to “convert people to Islam” and to incite them “to commit terrorist activities”, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) told a special court in Mumbai on Thursday.

The agency filed the prosecution complaint under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) before a special court in Mumbai and said Naik’s “inflammatory speeches and lectures have inspired and incited a number of Muslim youths in India to commit unlawful activities and terrorist acts.”

“His thoughts created disharmony amongst various faiths and created hatred amongst people.”

The ED probe revealed that Mumbai-based Harmony Media allegedly recorded the speeches and forwarded the edited versions to the Global Broadcasting Corporation (Dubai) and the U.K.-based Islamic Research Foundation International (IRFI) for further broadcast on Peace TV across the globe. DVDs were also circulated.

According to the Directorate, the IRFI received ₹64.86 crore from 2003 to 2017, “mostly from various dubious, suspicious or unknown sources. A large part of the funds was used for organising ‘PEACE’ conferences”. The agency alleged that ₹49.20 crore was transferred from 2012 to 2016 from Zakir Naik’s accounts maintained in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to his personal accounts in India.

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