Days after the Mumbai police filed its report, indicting televangelist Zalir Naik for alleged pro-terror speeches, deposits of large amounts of money that were made to bank accounts of his family members have come under the scanner.
Amounts ranging between Rs 50 crore and Rs 60 crore were deposited into the accounts of Dr Zakir Naik's wife, his children and other close relatives. Upon investigation, it was found that these deposits were being made from Middle Eastern countries.
According to an Indian Express report, the police have also tracked down four shell companies that are allegedly controlled by Naik's kin.
"We have come across one local bank account during the course of our investigation in which Rs 50 crore to Rs 60 crore have been allegedly transferred from Middle Eastern countries. This account belongs to a relative of Naik. On further investigation, we found that funds were later allegedly transferred to the accounts of Naik's wife, his children and some of his close relatives," an IPS officer told the Indian Express.
"We will investigate each alleged transaction and seek detailed statements from the bank. We will first record the statements of bankers and others, and then of Naik's family once preliminary investigations are complete," he said.
Representatives of Naik's organisation, the Islamic Research Foundation, have denied any knowledge about the deposits or shell companies and have promised to cooperate in the probe proceedings.
"I am not aware of the companies held by Dr Naik's family members, but if there are, we will provide details about the same to the agency," an IRF spokespersons told the daily.
When asked about the money allegedly received by Naik's relatives from abroad, the spokesperson said, "IRF has received money from offshore entities but I am not aware of money being credited to an account operated by Dr Naik's relative."