The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a prosecution complaint under the PMLA before a special PMLA court against Aamir Gazdar, a close aide of Zakir Naik. Gazdar has been charged for the offence of money laundering as defined in section 3 of the PMLA.
Earlier, the ED had registered money laundering case against Islamic Research Foundation on the basis of an FIR registered by the National Investigation Agency.
It was alleged that Naik and his associates were indulging in unlawful activities through provocative utterances, promoting enmity and hatred between different religious groups in India. His inflammatory speeches and lectures have inspired and incited a number of Muslim youths in India to commit unlawful activities and terrorist acts. The Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), Mumbai was also declared as unlawful under sub-section (3) of Section 3 of the unlawful activities.
Based on the investigation conducted, Gazdar was arrested by the ED under Section 19 of the PMLA . He is presently in judicial custody. During the investigation, it was observed that certain dummy companies were established by Naik for routing the proceeds of crime. Out of various companies established by Naik, Gazdar was director in at least six companies. It was also revealed that Gazdar was a close confidante of Naik, was in close touch with him and was also involved in illegalities at the behest of and in the aid of Naik. Gazdar was not only aware of many of his nefarious and illegal activities, but actively collaborated and assisted in such activities.
The ED said that Gazdar went beyond and knowingly assisted Naik and his associated companies in their financial shenanigans by providing "accommodation entries", and utilising these tainted monies through his personal bank accounts and bank accounts of his family members. He had also given an amount of Rs 2.35 crore to Harmony Media Pvt Ltd. However, there was no agreement entered by him for the said transactions. The registered office of Harmony Media Pvt. Ltd. is located at the ancestral building owned by his family.
The unaccounted money of around Rs 5.15 crore belonging to Zakir Naik had been handled by Gazdar on the instructions of Naik without leaving any trail on its origin or utilisation within a span of 8 months only. No other person is privy to the source and actual use of this substantial unaccounted cash.
In the instant case, the ED has already attached properties in the form of mutual funds, real estate properties and bank balances of worth Rs 17.45 crores of Islamic Research Foundation and others. On April 13, a non-bailable warrant was also issued by the special PMLA court against Naik for not complying with the summons issued by the ED.
As Naik has not joined the investigation yet, the ED reserved its right to file supplementary prosecution complaints, if further evidences come into light.