Indian ‘hate preacher’ Zakir Naik charged with cash laundering

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Zakir Naik denies the fees towards him

Indian prosecutors have charged controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik with cash laundering.

Mr Naik, who lives in exile, is accused of buying $28m (£21m) price of legal belongings, a declare he denies.

Indian authorities have additionally accused him of spreading hate speech and inciting terrorism.

Mr Naik, 53, promotes a radical type of Islam on the channel Peace TV. It’s banned in India however has an estimated 200 million viewers worldwide.

Broadcasting from Dubai, Peace TV is owned by the Islamic Analysis Basis, a gaggle headed by Mr Zaik.

Different international locations have banned the channel – together with Bangladesh, the place it’s accused of inspiring one of many gunmen behind a 2016 cafe assault in Dhaka by which 22 individuals have been killed.

The affect of Zakir Naik

India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED), which investigates monetary crimes, filed the fees towards Mr Naik in a courtroom in Mumbai on Thursday.

It instructed the courtroom that it had recognized belongings price thousands and thousands of as proceeds of crime.

Mr Naik’s “inflammatory speeches and lectures have impressed and incited quite a lot of Muslim youths in India to commit illegal actions and terrorist acts”, ED instructed the courtroom.

The company has accused him of utilizing funds from “doubtful or suspicious sources” to purchase property in India and finance occasions the place he made “provocative speeches”.

Mr Naik says the cash was obtained legitimately.

Who’s Zakir Naik?

Mr Naik’s fundamentalist method to faith has lengthy been controversial.

Many detained al-Qaeda followers have reportedly instructed officers that he was an enormous affect on them.

He was banned from coming into the UK in 2010 for “unacceptable behaviour”, and due to his speeches, by then-home secretary (and now Prime Minister) Theresa Might.

Nonetheless, it was in July 2016 when he actually got here to worldwide consideration, after a lethal assault on the Holey Artisan cafe in Dhaka.

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Protesters in India staging a rally towards Zakir Naik after the Dhaka assault in July 2016

The Bangladeshi media claimed that one of many gunmen had been impressed by his speeches. Later that month the Bangladeshi authorities banned Peace TV.

In November 2016, India’s counterterrorism company filed an official grievance towards Mr Naik, accusing him of selling non secular hatred and illegal exercise.

Mr Naik moved to Malaysia in 2017.

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