The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has found out that Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) president Dr Zakir Abdul Karim Naik, wanted in a criminal case registered last year, incorporated at least 11 companies in which he made his sister and a close confidant ‘dummy directors’ who kept transferring money from one company to another “as per Zakir Naik’s instructions”.
Sources said this is what the NIA has learnt after questioning Naik’s sister Nailah Naushad Noorani, close aide Aamir Gazdar and two others who helped Naik purchase properties in and around Mumbai. The probe agency, which is set to move to get Naik’s Indian passport revoked, believes he is in Malaysia where he is seeking citizenship. The agency has also initiated proceedings to get a Red Corner Notice against Naik. The NIA has compiled a list of 11 companies and at least 19 properties that Naik, his companies and family members own and hold which, sources said, is “highly disproportionate to his ostensible sources of income in India”.
The agency is now probing the source of funds through which these properties were purchased in the last few years and the routing of money from one company to another, from one bank account to another. Sources said the NIA has uncovered transactions running into crores of rupees ever since 1990. From the statements of Nailah, Gazdar and two others, NIA investigators learnt that the main source of funding of Naik’s companies was through “donations” and “zakat money received from donors in India as well as abroad”. Sources said Naik first incorporated IRF on December 20, 1990. He and his father Abdul Karim Naik (who has since died) were among its directors. Until 2015, Naik had incorporated at least 11 companies which were used by him to route funds from one company to another.
While probing the financial transactions of Naik and his family members, the NIA found that his parents had given a loan of approximately Rs 29 crore during 2013-2016 to his sister. Nailah told investigators that she extended this Rs 29 crore as loan to Longlast Constructions Private Limited and Harmony Media Private Limited. She is a director in both companies, she told the NIA.
Sources said Nailah told investigators that Naik asked her to become a trustee of the IRF Educational Trust and she believed that “good work shall be done through that Trust”. It was in 2001 that the Islamic International School in Chennai was started under this Trust. Naik, his wife Farhat Naik and Nailah were trustees of the Trust, but “all the decisions of the Trust were being taken by Dr Zakir”.
In 2013, Nailah was also made director of Longlast Construction Company which had been incorporated on April 24, 2008. Gazdar too was made its director. From 2013-2016, several transactions took place among Nailah, her parents, Longlast Construction Private Limited and a close friend of Naik.
The NIA is now scrutinising the source and destination of all such transactions. Nailah was also made director in Alpha Lubricants Private Limited and Majestic Perfumes Private Limited, both incorporated in May 2015. Nineteen properties are under NIA scrutiny and these include flats and shops in Mazgaon, Dongri, BIT Imamwada, Nagpada and Haveli and godowns in Mazgaon.