New Delhi: For the first time in the money laundering case of controversial Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik, Pakistan links have emerged. Sources within the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have confirmed India Today that money has flown in IRF’s bank accounts via Dubai, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and United Kingdom.
As of now, the agency has traced the money trail of about Rs 200 crore, which could go up by few more crores.
Whether the money coming in has any direct links with Pakistan or Dr Naik has used the Dubai route, it is getting investigated. “As of now, the agency is not ruling out Dr Naik connection with Pakistan and few other countries, but investigation is on before coming to conclusion,” the source told IndiaToday.in exclusively.
Meanwhile, in its first remand application before the special PMLA Court, the ED revealed that evangelist Dr Zakir Naik had created dummy companies and used it to camouflage the diversion of funds, which he had received by promoting videos of provocative speeches.
Sources in the agency admitted that Dr Naik and IRF were involved in religious conversion in India and abroad. “Statements recorded of some individuals in this case, told the agency that the money received by IRF were used in the activities of conversion,” the source said.
The preliminary investigation conducted by the agency, prima facie revealed that Dr Naik was at the helm of affairs completely controlling the affairs of the IRF. He was in complete control over such instrumentalities which were being run by him in close cahoots with his nominated or confidante trustees such as Dr Mohammed Abdul Karim Naik (brother of Dr Naik) and Aamir Gazdar.
Among the several entities created by Dr Naik for this purpose, Gazdar who has been arrested by ED on Thursday night, was one of the directors. These companies are – Universal Broadcasting Corporation, Lords Production Ltd, Harmony Media Pvt Ltd, Longlast Constructions Pvt Ltd, Majestic Perfumes Pvt Ltd and Alpha Lubricants Pvt Ltd.
Harmony Media has been used to produce videos of provocative speeches and was exported to Dubai for telecasting the same. Gazdar is one of the directors of Harmony Media.
The investigation revealed that Gazdar had financial transactions with Dr Naik and his associated companies. Gazdar had given an amount of Rs 2.35 crore as loan to Harmony Media, which he received back subsequently. Gazdar had also loaned another amount of Rs 41.50 lakh, which has also been returned to him. “There was no agreement entered by him for the said transactions,” the officials said.
Interestingly, Gazdar is a marble trader involved in contracting and supplying business under the name of Gazdar & Company and with a turnover of Rs 25-30 lakh. “In year 2003-04, he got connected with Dr Naik and since then he has become the close confidante of Dr Naik in every activities and decision-making process,” said the official.
The remand application said, “Investigations also revealed that huge amount of cash transaction (of about Rs 10-15 crore) without levying any trail of its origin or utilisation were conducted by Dr Naik through the present accused Gazdar. The cash amounts were collected and/or provided to the employees/officials of the IRF trust by Gazdar. However, Gazdar did not disclose any further details, it means, he is chewing more than is divulging.”
With a remark that Gazdar has been misleading the investigation by making false statements and also not revealing his role playing along with Dr Naik, the ED has got his custody till February 22, for further interrogation and get specific details/documents pertaining to the companies in which he is the director and/or trustee; and also details of the functioning or financial activities.
Meanwhile, the agency is collecting details of all properties created by Dr Naik through proceed of crimes, in India and abroad. Also, ED is likely to issue a letter rogatory (LRs) to Dubai, UK, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia seeking operational and financial details of Naik and IRF.