Zakir Naik made a fortune from ‘friendly loans’ and ‘donations’

Zakir-NaikPETALING JAYA: Zakir Naik is a rich man, according to India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) which today revealed the results of a probe into thousands of financial documents related to the controversial preacher.

The Times of India (TOI) reported that in its efforts to establish the claims of money laundering against Naik, the NIA had reviewed the financial documents of 13 entities and 40 individuals, including Naik’s companies, NGOs and associated firms.

It also scrutinised 85 bank accounts in its probe, which revealed that Naik had “made a fortune” from individuals and entities within India and abroad.

These sums were disguised as “friendly loans and gifts” and “donations” by “well-wishers”, the report said.

Naik’s NGOs, the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and the IRF Educational Trust, received average annual donations of some Rs 6 crore (RM3.9 million) and Rs 3 crore (RM1.9 million) respectively, it added.

Most of the receipts for these donations gave no name, with the donors identified only as “well-wishers”.

According to the NIA, a major portion of the money was not reflected in the trust’s records but was pumped into companies through “friendly loans and gifts”.

“In the last few years, Naik pumped a huge amount of money into Harmony Media and other firms through indirect channels,” it said, referring to Harmony Media Pvt Ltd, which was incorporated by Naik.

“He has also accumulated a considerable number of movable and immovable properties in India, which are highly disproportionate to his ostensible sources of income in India,” the NIA was quoted as saying.

Naik is said to own 10 immovable properties worth Rs 104 crore, with sources telling TOI that most of these are in Maharashtra.

All of these properties are expected to be seized soon by authorities, they added.

The NIA said Naik had regularly transferred funds from his Dubai account to his non-resident external rupee (NRE) account in India.

A “greater share” was then transferred to his non-resident ordinary rupee (NRO) account, which is taxable.

The funds were subsequently transferred to his parents, who then transferred them to Naik’s business partners and other family members, the NIA was reported as saying.