Zakir Naik asks ED to send questionnaire in money laundering probe
Controversial televangelist Zakir Naik, who is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate for money laundering and has been issued a summons, has sent another letter stating the agency can send a questionnaire to him as he fears arrest in case of personal appearance.
"Our apprehension regarding the probe stood fortified with the arrest of Aamir Gazdar (Naik's confidante), which we are afraid will be the fate of our client in case of personal appearance," Naik said in a letter sent through his lawyer Mahesh Mule.
The Islamic preacher asked the agency to send him a questionnaire and that he would respond to it.
In a letter, Naik stated though he was an NRI, the ED still told the court that he was not joining the investigation and was trying to mislead the probe.
ED is probing the controversial preacher and his now proscribed Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) under anti-money laundering laws.
In the summons last month, Naik was asked to appear before the Investigating Officer of the case under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) by January end.
The agency wants to record the statement of Naik, who is understood to be abroad.
The ED had registered a criminal case against Naik and IRF last month after taking cognisance of a complaint booked by the NIA under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against them.
The agency is looking into the charges of alleged illegal funds laundered by the accused and the subsequent proceeds of crime thus generated.
Responding to the summons earlier this week, Naik had send a communication stating he was willing to give statement via any electronic media facility.
"My client is willing and ready to give any statement before you via Skype or any other mode of electronic media to assist you in your investigation," he stated in the letter sent through his lawyer.
(With PTI inputs)