The Enforcement Directorate on Friday issued a summons to controversial preacher Zakir Naik and his NGO Islamic Research Foundation under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, The Indian Express reported. The agency said it expected the televangelist to submit his statement to them by end January.
The ED’s Mumbai office registered an Enforcement Case Information Report – the equivalent of an FIR – against Naik under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. Investigators have begun to look into bank transactions and other documents related to Naik and his foundation.
The agency has also sought specific income tax details filed by the IRF and Naik’s family, India Today reported. It will also examine the NGO’s financial statements to check whether it floated shell companies to launder money. The ED had registered a money-laundering case against Naik and IRF on December 30, 2016.
The televangelist has been under scrutiny since allegations arose that he had inspired one of the terrorists behind the Dhaka cafe attack on July 1, 2016. He was also accused of meeting two brothers from Kerala who were among those who went missing in West Asia and are believed to have joined the Islamic State group. The police had arrested a few members of the IRF for allegedly radicalising men from Kerala to join the terror outfit.
On November 15, 2016, the foundation was banned for a period of five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for Naik’s “objectionable and subversive” speeches. IRF had challenged the decision on January 14