ED arrests Zakir Naik's aide in Mumbai

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate on Friday arrested an aide of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik from Mumbai in connection with a money laundering case against him and others, officials said.

Najmudin Sathak, a jeweller by profession, has been arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) for his role in "actively assisting" Naik and aiding him in money laundering by transferring funds of dubious origin from the UAE, they said.

The officials alleged Sathak has sent about Rs 50 crore funds to Naik, which the latter illegally routed and laundered.

Sathak was also the director of M/s Global Broadcasting Corporation FZE LLC that owned Naik's Peace TV channel, they said.

He will be produced before a special PMLA court in Mumbai.

Naik has been under investigation since 2016, when the Centre banned his Islamic Research Foundation for five years.

Indian security agencies have been monitoring him ever since allegations surfaced that he had inspired one of the militants involved in the Dhaka restaurant attack on July 1, 2016, which left 22 people dead.

Naik, wanted in India for terror-related activities and hate speech, reportedly left the country in 2016 and subsequently moved to largely Muslim Malaysia, where he was granted permanent residency.

In July last year, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had said Naik will not be sent home.

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PTI