New Delhi, Mar 20: Trouble mounts for controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik as the Enforcement Department (ED) on Monday took further action against his Islamic Research Foundation in money laundering case. The Enforcement Directorate had lodged a case of suspected money-laundering against Zakir Naik and his NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) on December 30. The ED on Monday attached assets worth Rs 18.37 crores of Islamic Research Foundation and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Earlier on Monday, the National Investigative Agency issued fresh notice to Zakir Naik to appear before it in a case where he stands accused of promoting enmity between groups on religious and racial grounds. The NIA had issued first notice to Zakir Naik on March 7 and asked him to appear before it. The agency has now asked Zakir Naik to appear at NIA headquarters in the national capital on March 30 in a case where he stands accused of promoting enmity between groups on religious and racial grounds.

The ED has already probed certain bank documents and transaction details of Zakir Naik and and his NGO IRF. Naik’s sister Nailah Noorani was also questioned by the ED officials in connection with a money laundering probe against him and others.

The Enforcement Directorate is looking into the charges of alleged laundering of illegal funds by the accused in the case and the subsequent proceeds of crime thus generated. It has also summoned Naik but he is still to depose before the agency as he is reported to be abroad. It has recently arrested Naik’s close aide Aamir Gazdar in this case. The NIA had earlier registered a case against 51-year-old Naik under anti-terror laws for allegedly promoting enmity between different religious groups.

Zakir Naik first shot into the limelight when his name cropped up during the investigations into the terror strike at an upscale restaurant in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on July 1 after one of the terrorists allegedly claimed to have been inspired by his speeches.