New Delhi: A Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) court on Wednesday issued a fresh non-bailable warrant (NBW) against controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who is currently in Malaysia, in connection with a 2016 alleged money laundering case.
The warrant was issued by PMLA court judge PP Rajvaidya on a plea filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which is probing the case. The development comes after the fugitive preacher, last week, moved a plea through his lawyer seeking two months’ time to appear before the court.
In response to this, on Monday, the agency, too, moved court, filing a fresh plea seeking the NBW. The agency claims to have identified Rs 193.06 crore as the proceeds of crime in the 2016 case.
The 53-year-old Mumbai-born Naik, who is a radical television preacher, left India in 2016 on charges of inciting communal disharmony and committing unlawful activities in India. He was booked by the ED in 2016 on an FIR filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
He was subsequently granted the permanent residency of Malaysia, which, the country’s government recently threatened to revoke following his controversial remarks against non-Muslim minorities in the country, especially the Chinese and the Hindus, prompting him to apologise.
Speaking to a radio station recently, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not asked him to extradite Zakir Naik to India. The two leaders had recently met on the sidelines of the 5th East Economic Forum (EEF) in Russia.