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Zakir Naik Case: ED Attaches Assets Worth Rs 16.40 Crore Under PMLA

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| January 19 , 2019 , 19:30 IST

The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday said that it has attached fresh assets worth Rs 16.40 crore in connection with its money-laundering probe against controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.

The NIA had also filed a charge sheet against Naik and others before a Mumbai court in October 2017.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), in a statement, said: "it had issued a provisional order for attachment of Naik's assets, located in Mumbai and Pune, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)."

Quoting the NIA charge sheet, the ED 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".

It said Naik's organisation, the Islamic Research Foundation, and Ms Harmony Media "have been instrumental in the maximum circulation of such incriminating speeches".

"For such activities, the accused (Naik) was receiving funds from IRF as well as other unknown sources," the ED claimed.

This is the third such attachment by the ED in the case and with the latest order, the total value of assets attached by the agency stands at Rs 50.49 crore.

The agency is probing the case after taking cognisance of an FIR filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against Naik, who is said to be based in Malaysia at present.

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The attachment of assets action under the PMLA is aimed to deprive the accused of taking benefits of his ill-gotten wealth and such an order gets confirmed after an order is passed by the Adjudicating Authority of the PMLA within 180 days.