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Monday, July 3, 2017

India seeks to seize Zakir Naik’s properties in Malaysia

India’s financial crime investigation agency has applied to a Mumbai court to seek the cooperation of Malaysian courts to attach several of Naik’s properties in Malaysia.
zakir-naik-india-courtKUALA LUMPUR: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) of India has applied to a special court in Mumbai for permission to lawfully seize some properties of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik in Malaysia.
“We have moved the court seeking issuance of Letters Rogatory (LR) to attach some properties of Naik, which we have identified in Malaysia,” special ED Counsel Hiten Venegaonkar was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India (PTI).
Letters Rogatory are a formal request from a court in a country to a foreign court for judicial assistance.
The ED, India’s financial crime investigation agency, applied to the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court last week for the LR, PTI reported.
The report said the televangelist had been accused of spreading hatred through his provocative speeches, funding terrorists and laundering several crores of rupees over the years.
He fled India following an attack on a cafe in Bangladesh in July last year in which 22 people were killed, and after at least one of the terrorist suspects said he had been influenced by Naik’s speeches.
Naik has denied any involvement with terrorists or that he promotes terrorism. He has Malaysian permanent resident status, and Indian media had earlier reported that he was now trying to secure Malaysian citizenship.
Naik is said to have been changing his base frequently after India’s National Investigation Agency contacted Interpol to issue a red corner notice against him, which would mean that police in any country would be obliged to detain him.
The court had in April issued a non-bailable warrant against Naik in connection with the money laundering case.
According to the PTI report, the ED is looking into the charges of alleged illegal funds laundered by Naik and several of his associates.
Meanwhile, The Hindustan Times reported that, on Monday, the ED moved an application seeking a LR to be sent to authorities in the United Arab Emirates, seeking details of Naik’s properties there.
The agency, according to the report, is probing whether those inspired by his speeches sent him funds. The investigation will focus on whether Naik gained financially. -FMT

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