NIA investigates Zakir Naik's 78 bank accounts, his NGOs and associates

The agency gathered details of these properties during its scrutiny of records of Naik and IRF

NIA investigates Zakir Naik

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is investigating more than 75 bank accounts held by controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, his two NGOs and its associates for foreign funding.

According to the reports, the agency has written to banks of the 75 accounts of Naik, the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and the Islamic Research Foundation International for details and around half of them have responded to its request, an official said. It is probing the foreign donations that came into the accounts.

Hindustan Times in its report quoted its NIA sources earlier as saying that Naik’s empire consists of at least 37 properties, mostly in Maharashtra towns. Of these, 25 are flats in Mumbai alone.

“Conservative estimates put the market value of these properties and other assets of IRF and Naik around Rs 100 crore,” said an anonymous NIA official. The agency also recovered Naik’s propaganda material contained in 14,000 tapes which amount to around 5,000 terabytes (TB) of data.
The agency gathered details of these properties during its scrutiny of records of Naik and IRF, which has been banned for five years following a government notification declaring it to be an ‘unlawful association’ under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

After a ban on the foundation, the NIA registered a case against Naik and the IRF on charges of inciting Muslim youth to indulge in violence and promoting enmity between groups on the basis of religion and race. The agency also charged Naik with indulging in activities that are prejudicial to national integration.

The agency then conducted searches at around two dozen properties of Naik, his relatives and the IRF with help from Mumbai police.“Around three dozen bank accounts of the IRF and its trustees including Naik have been identified and banks were asked to freeze them as well,” said the official.

The government has constituted a tribunal to reconsider the ban imposed on the IRF.