Was given Rs 149 cr for ‘safekeeping’, Zakir Naik’s close aide tells NIAZakir Naik's close business aide told the NIA that he was given Rs 148.9 crore in cash by Naik’s manager Aslam Qureshi between August and October 2016 for safekeeping, before it was taken away in installments.
Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s close business aide Aamir Abdul Mannan Gazdar, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case against Naik and Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), has made a shocking revelation to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
According to a Times of India report, Aamir, during interrogation, told that he was given Rs 148.9 crore in cash by Naik’s manager Aslam Qureshi between August and October 2016 for safekeeping, before it was taken away in installments.
He told that he was given the money for safekeeping when Zakir had come under the scanner of the security agencies for his hate speeches.
Gazdar holds 5 per cent stake in Naik’s companies Longlast Constructions Pvt Ltd and Harmony Media Pvt Ltd, and is a 50 per cent shareholder in his two other firms, Alpha Lubricants and Majestic Perfumes.
He claimed that there has not been any further transaction in the latter two firms. The remaining stake in each of these companies is held by Naik’s sister Nailah Noorani.
According to the report, Gazdar is also a trustee in Islamic Research Foundation International and director in Naik's UK-based ventures Universal Broadcasting Corporation Pvt Ltd Co and Lord Production Pvt Ltd Co.
During the interrogation, he told the NIA that the Naik’s moduc operandi was to form shell companies and trusts and use them for illicit money transactions via a web of deceit with “friendly loans from family members and trusted aides, movement of huge amounts of illegal cash and real estate investments”.
In her statement to the NIA, Zakir’s sister Nailah confirmed that she had received loans amounting to Rs 29 crore from her mother Roshan Naik and late father Abdul Karim Naik between 2013-14 and 2016-17.
She told that from this money, she regularly gave out loans to Longlast Constructions and Harmony Media. Nailah’s husband, Nausad Noorani, told the NIA that in 1996, Naik formed a trust, Islamic Dimensions, and made him and other family members trustees. He, however, insisted that the trust had been dormant for the last 15 years.
Gazdar told the NIA that he would regularly sign blank cheques and income tax returns for Naik's firms and keep cash deposits sent by him in safe custody before handing it over to his trusted aides without raising a question.