ISLAMIC PREACHER and founder of Islamic Research Foundation, Zakir Naik, in a statement issued on Friday, refuted the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) claim that he did not have any known source of income or employment. Naik claimed that he had “dutifully” filed Income Tax returns till 2016.
Last week, the ED had filed a supplementary chargesheet against Naik, alleging that he had laundered money through his companies and bank accounts of his relatives.
The agency had also claimed that Naik sent Rs 49 crore to India between 2010 to 2016, which were alleged proceeds of crime, even though he did not have a known source of income or employment.
“I have filed my tax returns dutifully every year till 2016 and the ED has access to all my tax papers. The papers clearly show that I have multiple businesses and revenue streams,” Naik said in a statement issued through his spokesperson.
He added that he has been an NRI since 2010 and makes Rs 1 crore a month, of which he sends some amount to India, “as and when required”.
“Every money received as charity has been disclosed in the donor country and used for the purpose it was meant for… By law, I’m not supposed to explain my overseas job or business to anyone in India, till the time I’m using legitimate channels and account for every penny I send to India. So, it’s totally puzzling when the ED says I’ve not been earning anything,” Naik said claiming that he has multiple businesses, including real estate.
The ED had claimed that the total proceeds of crime in the case involving Naik amounted to Rs 193.06 crore. It alleged that in response to the appeals made during his speeches, Naik received donations from “unknown sources” and layered them through his companies and close relatives.
After the National Investigation Agency registered a case against Naik in 2016 alleging that his speeches were being used to incite “terror activities”, the ED too filed a case of alleged money laundering. Naik, declared as a proclaimed offender, is known to have sought refuse in Malaysia after the case was registered.