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Money laundering case: ED to question Zakir Naik’s siblings

The agency has summoned Naik’s elder brother Mohammed and sister Nailah Noorani

mumbai Updated: Feb 24, 2017 09:44 IST
Pratik Salunke
ED has alleged that Gazdar handled cash transactions at the instructions of televangelist Zakir Naik.
ED has alleged that Gazdar handled cash transactions at the instructions of televangelist Zakir Naik.(HT FILE)

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will question the family members of televangelist Zakir Naik against whom the agency has registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) . 

The agency has summoned Naik’s elder brother Mohammed and sister Nailah Noorani. ED sources revealed that Naik’s confidante Aamir Gazdar, who is under arrest, is a 10% shareholder in the Longlast Construction, a firm which was used to purchase properties in the country and 90% of its shares are owned by Noorani. 

The central agency has filed an enforcement case information report (ECIR) against Naik. The agency is probing whether his funds came from those who were inspired by his speeches.

ED has alleged that Gazdar handled cash transactions at the instructions of Naik. “Gazdar is a close confidante of Naik and was in constant touch with him. He is involved in all of Naik’s illegal activities and was his equivalent partner. He has not revealed the whereabouts of his associates, the roles of other accused and whereabouts of the main conspirator,” alleged the remand report submitted by the agency while seeking judicial custody of Gazdar on Wednesday. 

After a ban on the foundation, the NIA registered a case against Naik and the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) on charges of inciting Muslim youth to indulge in violence and promoting enmity between groups on the basis of religion and race. The FIR had accused him of giving speeches that spread communal harmony. The agency also charged Naik with indulging in activities that are prejudicial to national integration. 

Naik has been out of the country since reports emerged that his sermons influenced a few of the Bangladeshi attackers, who targeted an eatery in Dhaka on July 1. Bangladesh has banned Naik’s Peace TV, saying it incited the attack on a Dhaka cafe in which 22 people were gunned down.

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