The Enforcement Directorate Friday arrested Abdul Kadir Najimuddin Sathak who was allegedly a ‘trusted aide’ and a director in one of the companies linked with Zakir Naik, who is currently being probed in a money laundering case. A special court in Mumbai has ordered Najimuddin to be sent to ED custody till March 27.
The move by ED comes less than a week after the probe agency attached assets worth Rs 18.38 crore of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and others. This is the second arrest by the agency after it initially tracked down Naik’s close aide, Amir Abdul M Gazdar who is presently in judicial custody.
The jeweller has been arrested for his role in “actively assisting Naik and aiding him in money laundering by transferring funds of dubious origin from the UAE to facilitate production and broadcasting incriminating videos for spreading communal hatred and radicalisation of a particular community”, the investigative agency told news agency PTI.
The officials alleged that Sathak had directly sent about Rs 50 crore funds to Naik, which the preacher illegally routed and laundered. Sathak was also the director of M/s Global Broadcasting Corporation FZE LLC that owned Naik’s Peace TV channel, PTI quoted the officials as saying.
The central probe agency had registered a criminal case against the accused and others in December 2018 after it took cognisance of an NIA complaint filed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The ED is looking into the charges of alleged laundering of illegal funds in the case and the subsequent proceeds of crime thus generated. Whereas, the attachment of assets under PMLA is aimed to deprive Naik from taking benefits of his ill-gotten wealth.
Cases have been registered against the controversial Islamic preacher under anti-terror laws for allegedly promoting enmity between different religious groups with his foundation not only being banned but also being put on the ‘restricted list’ by the Home Ministry for receiving funds from abroad.