KUALA LUMPUR: India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) has approached Interpol to issue a red corner notice (RCN) against controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.
Naik, who is being probed for terror and money laundering charges, is said to be hiding in the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia. He also keeps moving between Malaysia and Indonesia, according to a report in The Times of India.
The Interpol RCN against Naik would mean that he will be declared an international fugitive and could be arrested by any agency around the world.
Naik was given permanent resident status by the Malaysian government about five years ago. His presence and activities in Malaysia have resulted in ill-feelings between the races.
There have been calls for him to be barred from entering Malaysia but his supporters claim he has a right to be protected by the Malaysian government.
The Times of India said Naik was accused of spreading hatred by his provocative speeches, of funding terrorists and laundering several crores of money over the years. His Islamic Research Foundation and Peace TV have been banned by the government.
It quoted sources as saying that Interpol was approached after a 10-month long investigation where all charges against him had been substantiated.
The NIA found, during the probe that Naik and companies run by him owned 37 properties, estimated to be worth more than Rs100 crore (RM67 million).
According to the report, while issuing a non-bailable warrant against Naik, a special NIA court in Mumbai had recently said “there are reasonable grounds to believe that Naik is evading arrest and that he will not voluntarily appear before the court or before the agency”.
The court had also said that it found substance in the allegations made by the NIA.
Naik fled India after some of those involved in the July 1, 2016 Dhaka attack claimed they had been inspired by him, added the report.