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ED set to move Interpol for Red Notice against Zakir Naik

Zakir Naik. File photo

Zakir Naik. File photo   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Enforcement Directorate will soon send requests for an Interpol Red Notice against preacher Zakir Naik and his extradition from Malaysia after securing a non-bailable warrant against him from a Mumbai special court.

The court has taken cognisance of the charge sheet filed by the agency against Naik and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The next date of hearing is June 19, when it expects to get a warrant.

Based on the warrant, the ED will approach the Interpol for issuing a Red Notice through which the assistance of all member countries are sought for detention of the subject. Malaysia is one of the members and it also has an extradition treaty with India, signed in 2010.

The warrant will also be the basis for the ED to open proceedings against Naik under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act. The agency has identified proceeds of crime worth more than ₹193 crore in India and abroad.

Of the total amount, properties valued at ₹50.46 crore have already been attached under the PMLA. The attachment was recently confirmed by the Adjudicating Authority.

In the charge sheet, the Directorate has alleged that Naik made investments in Dubai where he is developing high-end bungalows. His organisation, Islamic Research Foundation, received funds to the tune of ₹64.86 crore between 2003 and 2017, mostly from “dubious, suspicious or unknown sources”.

 

The ED alleges ₹49.20 crore was received from 2012 to 2016 from Naik’s accounts maintained in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to his personal accounts in India. The source of his income in the UAE is not known. A part of the funds was used for booking properties in Mumbai and Pune. To conceal the source of funds, initial payments were refunded, diverted to the accounts of his relatives and re-routed for booking in their names.

According to the agency, Naik had established several companies in the United Kingdom and India by placing his close associates and relatives as their directors, to camouflage the diversion of funds.

Some of these companies have been identified by the ED as Universal Broadcasting Corporation Ltd. and Lords Production Inc Ltd in the United Kingdom; Harmony Media Pvt. Ltd, Longlast Constructions Pvt. Ltd, Majestic Perfumes Pvt. Ltd and Alpha Lubricants Pvt. Ltd in Mumbai; and Right Property Solutions Pvt. Ltd, it is alleged.

 

The money laundering probe is based on an FIR registered by the National Investigation Agency against Naik and others for allegedly indulging in unlawful activities by promoting enmity and hatred between different religious groups through provocative utterances.

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2020 11:15:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ed-to-move-interpol-for-notice-against-zakir-naik/article27699619.ece

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