Naik has several properties in Dubai and supposedly in other cities in the UAE.
Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will soon approach United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities via a Letters Rogatory (LR) to access details related to controversial Islamic preacher-cum-televangelist Zakir Naik’s alleged assets located there. An LR is a request sent to a foreign court via legal channels. The ED has been conducting a money-laundering probe against Naik and entities associated with him for alleged irregularities related to the receipt of foreign donations worth Rs 60 crore.
The ED is investigating a money-laundering case against Naik and probe in the case has allegedly revealed that he has invested a chunk of the funds in Dubai, from where foreign donations worth Rs 60 crore were routed to India.
Naik has several properties in Dubai and supposedly in other cities in the UAE, details of which will be sought. The ED has hence sent an LR application via the central government that will be forwarded to UAE.
An LR is a communication of a court in India with a court in the concerned country to which the LR is sent. The court in the other country executes the LR asking the agencies to file a report with them, which will then be sent to India.
“As per the investigation, Naik seems to have invested worth several crores in Dubai and other places in UAE. The amount could even be more than Rs 60 crore, which was sent to India, between 2013 and 2016,” said an ED officer.
The amount of Rs 60 crore is the part of Rs 200 crore worth total donations that Naik and his nonprofit Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) received in three years till 2016, ED officials said.
Sources in the ED stated that they would also send an LR to the United Kingdom (UK), in stage two, as two out of Naik’s six shell companies are based there. The two companies were identified as Universial Broadcasting Corporation Ltd and Lords Production Inc Ltd.
The overseas donations received were laundered using the shell companies and hence it is likely that Naik also made investments in UK, sources said. The ED has already attached Naik’s assets to the tune of Rs 18.37 crore.