A flat in Mazgaon in south Mumbai, contracts for his construction firm -- this is how televangelist and Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) head Zakir Naik lured his aide Aamir Gazdar to lend his name to his companies.
According to the ED, Gazdar is the director of at least six companies set up by Naik. Two companies are in England -- Universal Broadcasting Corporation Ltd and Lords Production Inc Ltd -- and four others are based in Mumbai-Harmony Media Pvt Ltd, Long-lost constructions Pvt Ltd, Majestic Perfumes Pvt Ltd and Alpha Lubricants Pvt Ltd.
The ED arrested Gazdar in connection with a money-laundering case against Naik and is in judicial custody .
The agency claimed Gazdar had been managing and diverting the funds for Naik.
In a statement recorded on February 7, Gazdar said, “Naik promised me a 1,000-sqft flat in Mazgaon, where he planned to construct a building. He also promised to give marble contracts for his properties in India and Dubai to my firm.”
In his statement before the central agency, Gazdar alleged he met Naik in 2003, when he had gone to Islamic International School for his son’s admission. He alleged he met him frequently and Naik asked him to look for property for a school. While the deal did not work, they stayed in touch.
“Zakir Naik used to call me and once requested me to become director at M/s Harmony media Pvt Ltd to which I agreed. I paid Rs40,000 for formation of the company. I also gave a friendly loan of Rs90.05 lakh in 2005-06 for starting the unit,” read Gazdar’s statement .
Gazdar although the money was recorded as loan, it was for the flat he was promised.