NIA freezes bank account of Zakir Naik’s IRF

Controversial Islamic preacher and NRI Zakir Naik.

Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today conducted raids on controversial Islamic preacher and NRI Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation and sealed its several account related to it.

According to sources, NIA also puts on raids of office of Peace TV, owned by Zakir Naik, residences of various office bearers of the NGO and the TV channel, and froze a bank account.

On Saturday early morning the NIA starts putting raids at around 5 a.m. Later in the day NIA lodged a case against Naik and his IRF under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The raids continued for nearly 12 hours.

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The teams shifted to the residences of IRF and Peace TV office bearers in the evening, comprising Naik’s immediately family members and others holding various posts in his NGO and private television channel.

The account of the IRF in the Development Credit Bank Ltd.’s Dongri Branch has been sealed by the NIA from where the NGO pays salaries of its school staffers and manages other expenses.

The NIA teams was accompanied by Mumbai Police, started putting raids at around eight locations owned or connected with the IRF-Peace TV, including its headquarters in south Mumbai.

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Apart from the head office of IRF and four other branches, an old office, a women’s centre, and an office preparing content for telecast on Naik’s Peace TV programmes were raided.

Taking over the case from Mumbai Police in mid-October, the NIA raids and search operations were completed around 5 p.m.

Zakir Naik is currently out of the country, and reportedly believed to be somewhere in Africa.

Naik did not come to attend the funeral of his father Abdul K. Naik, who died on October 30 here.

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The IRF shot into limelight following allegations that Naik’s teachings and preachings had inspired terror strikes, including the terror siege on a Dhaka cafe in July this year that left over 20 people killed.