Money laundering case against Zakir Naik: Court tells controversial preacher to appear before it on 31 July or face non-bailable warrant

Asian News International

Mumbai: A special PMLA court has ordered controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik to physically appear before it on 31 July. The court said that a non-bailable warrant will be issued against Naik if he fails to appear before it. The PMLA court was hearing an application filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking a non-bailable warrant against the controversial Islamic preacher, who is believed to be in Malaysia.

Naik is facing charges of inciting communal disharmony and committing unlawful activities in India. He is also facing probe both in India and Bangladesh in connection with the terror attack at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka in July 2016. The two suspects in the terror attack had claimed that they were inspired by Naik's radical preaching.

India said it has made a formal request to Malaysia and will continue to pursue his extradition.  Recently, Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad had said that his country has the right not to extradite Naik, for similar reasons that Australia had turned down his country's request to extradite Sirul Azhar Umar in 2015. He also said that Naik believes that he would not be accorded justice in India.

In addition, the ED filed a prosecution complaint against Naik on money laundering charges on 22 December, 2016. A total amount of Rs 193.06 crore has been identified as "proceeds of crime." The directorate has also attached properties of Naik worth Rs 50.46 crore.

According to the investigative agency, money laundering was conducted via "dubious" origins from the UAE to facilitate production and broadcasting incriminating videos for spreading communal hatred and radicalisation of a particular community.

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