ED to probe Zakir Naik’s financial gains
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday registered a case against televangelist Zakir Naik and his organisation Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The agency will investigate if Naik and IRF received funds because of his speeches. The probe will also revolve around the various investments made by him.
An enforcement case information report has been filed based on the findings of a preliminary probe.
“We are investigating if his funding is a result of his fiery speeches,” said a high-ranking ED officer. The central agency will scrutinise Naik’s account in detail, along with the flow of funds and the investments through the money. Financial transactions of the IRF will also come under the scanner and details of its foreign funding will be probed. The investigation will also focus on those funding the organisation and the purpose behind it.
In its edition published on Thursday, Hindustan Times had reported that the agency would register. The ED’s investigation will focus on the proceeds of the crime and if he has gained anything financially.
The economic offences wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police has already investigated the foreign funding of IRF. ED sources said they will look into the police’s findings in this regard as well.
Naik’s spokesperson Aarif Malik had earlier stated that the preacher had not been given an opportunity to clarify his position. The first FIR was filed after the ban. The IRF and Naik would remain open to investigation but the irony was that the ban was now being justified by allegations made through FIRs of financial or non-financial nature, Malik said.