One of Malaysia’s most controversial Permanent Residents, Zakir Naik, a world-famous Islamic televangelist accused by some of stirring hate with his lectures and messages, is now being accused of misappropriating funds meant to better the welfare of his fellow Muslims.
India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) is lodging accusations at the preacher, claiming that assets worth RM113 million (US$28 million) have been laundered from a fund of donations intended for the social betterment of the Muslim community, into a series of assets that include, and are not limited to, 20 flats in cities across India. The units are registered under both Zakir’s wife and son’s names according to a report from The Times of India.
More transaction trails were found in property’s registered under the names of Zakir’s mother, father, and sister. Their provenance is unexplained.
An ED investigation is alleging that Zakir is using his Islamic Research Foundation to raise the funds, with nearly RM40 million (US$10 million) having been raised in the Middle East alone between 2014 and 2017.
Late last week, Najmudin Sathak was arrested by ED officers, accused of helping Zakir facilitate the transfer of funds from the UAE, and into the production of the preacher’s controversial videos.
While Zakir is a wanted man in India, having had his citizenship revoked, and several pending cases pertaining to terrorism and money-laundering pinned against him, he received PR status under the country’s previous regime.
After Prime Minister Mahathir ascended into power last year, it’s claimed that Indian authorities issued an extradition request, eager to have Zakir back on their soil to answer to the charges against him.
Refusing to bow to international pressure, Mahthir maintained he would deny their request, despite an extradition agreement between the two nations. He clarified to inquiring reporters that the preacher was welcome to stay, “as long as he is not creating any problem.”
This is now serious. Allegation of diverting funds meant for welfare of Muslims! It's only right that M'sia responds & not be seen harbouring this guy. 1/2 https://t.co/mRXHJ27dov
— Latheefa Koya (@LatheefaKoya) March 26, 2019
Lawyers for Liberty co-founder Latheefa Koya has not played down the importance of India’s most recent allegations, pointing out that diverting funds from donations intended for the welfare of Muslims was “serious,” and that Malaysia should not be seen as a nation that harbors wanted individuals.
In 2010 Naik was reportedly barred from entering Britain after the Home Secretary cited “numerous comments” which showed his “unacceptable behavior”.
In a July 2008 TV broadcast Naik suggested that Al-Qaeda was not responsible for flying hijacked airliners into New York’s World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, killing almost 3,000 people.
Sounds like a gem, guys!