Seventy eight bank accounts held by his NGO Islamic Research Foundation also under NIA’s scanner.The National Investigating Agency (NIA) is likely to question controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and will scan 78 banks accounts and investments worth Rs. 100 crore made by him in real estate in Mumbai and its outskirts. Last year the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had imposed a ban on Naik’s NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) for five years under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
In November 2016, a case was filed against Naik and others under anti-terror law by NIA for allegedly promoting enmity between various groups on the ground of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony. The probe agency had raided his residential premises, Peace TV offices and other locations besides freezing his NGO’s bank account.
According to sources from NIA, “Naik owns around 37 properties which are based mostly in towns located in Maharashtra. Out of these 25 are located in Mumbai. The market value of these properties and other assets owned by Naik is worth Rs 100 crore.”
It is suspected that most of the properties owned by Naik, his NGO Islamic Research Foundation and other companies have been purchased over the years using the funds received from foreign countries and domestic contributions.
Around 20 associates of Naik including his sister Nailah Naushad Noorani has been questioned by NIA in connection with its investigation, they said. “We have sought certain documents including income tax returns and others. Besides this, we are also scanning 78 bank accounts of Naik operating in different parts of the country. After the conclusion of examination we will summon him for questioning,” a source said.
The NIA officials have found complicated movement of money in the financial transactions made by people involved in the case. They are probing the role of Mumbai-based Harmony Media Pvt Ltd–involved in production of religious and educative videos.
The agency also recovered Naik’s propaganda material contained in 14,000 tapes which amounts to around 5,000 terabytes (TB) of data.
Naik first shot into the limelight when his name cropped up during the investigations into the Dhaka terror strike on July 1 after one of the terrorists allegedly claimed to have been inspired by his speeches.
Since then Naik has not returned to India and has been mostly travelling and preaching in Africa and Middle East, though he addressed the Mumbai media once via teleconference in July.