In yet another sensational revelation that confirms controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s involvement in alleged unlawful activities, Mumbai Police has found that a total of Rs 60 crore was deposited in his and family members bank accounts in last three years from three different countries.
Police said that the money was transferred to at least five accounts belonging to televangelist’s family members (including his wife, children and other relatives). No account belongs to his Mumbai-based NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF).
The investigators are also looking at four shell companies — a construction company, a company dealing in realty, a solvency company and a company manufacturing perfumes — that are allegedly controlled by Naik and his family to ascertain what these companies were used for.
Police said that Naik’s family members are directors in the companies and when they went to the addresses registered in Saki Naka and Andheri areas, they realised that they existed only on paper and the companies do not function from the addresses registered.
“We still don’t know what this money was meant for. We have done an inquiry and found the money trail. The money was transferred to family members accounts,” a police officer privy to the probe told Times of India on terms of anonymity.
Police said that they will look into whether proper permissions were taken for these payments, and whether recipients made declarations to agencies such as the Income Tax department.
Sources close to Naik, TOI reported, however, said that there is no illegal transaction and that all the records of IRF have been cleared till 2015 by the Income Tax department.
“Whatever money came is in white and all the records are maintained. This also helps the country’s foreign exchange to grow,” it said.
The latest disclosure comes close on the heels of the preliminary inquiry by police that claimed IRF allegedly received about Rs 15 crore during a five-year period preceding 2012 by violating Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act.
Earlier this week, the Mumbai Police submitted a report to the state Home Department, indicting Naik for alleged ‘pro-terror’ speeches and ‘influencing vulnerable minds’ to join terror organisations.
Naik has come under the scanner of security agencies after it was reported that his speeches have inspired some terrorists who had taken siege of Holey Artisan cafe in Dhaka July 1.