Zakir Naik case: ED attaches assets worth 16.4 cr

Zakir Naik case: ED attaches assets worth 16.4 cr

The ED has attached fresh assets worth Rs 16.40 crore in connection with its money-laundering probe against controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, it said on Saturday. PTI file photo

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized property worth Rs 16.40 crore in the Zakir Naik case in Mumbai and Pune in a fresh attachment.

In a statement, the ED said it has issued a provisional order to attach assets registered in the name of Naik's family members under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The properties are Fatima Heights and Aafiyah Heights and an unnamed project in the Bhandup in Mumbai and a project 'Engracia' in Pune.

This is the third such attachment by the ED in the case. The total value of assets attached by the agency in the case is now valued at Rs 50.49 crore.

"In order to disguise the origin of funds and real ownership of the properties, the initial payments made from Naik's bank account were refunded and diverted to the accounts of his wife, son and niece and re-routed again for the purpose of making bookings in the name of the family members rather than Naik. This has been revealed from the money trail established by the ED," the statement said.

After taking cognisance of a National Investigation Agency (NIA) case filed under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), the ED had filed a case against Naik and others in December 2016.

Quoting the NIA, the ED had then said, Naik "deliberately and maliciously insulted the religious beliefs of Hindus, Christians and non-Wahabi Muslims, particularly the Shias, Sufis and the Barelwis, with the intention of outraging their religious feelings".