Zakir Naik charged with crime

Zakir Naik has been associated with inflammatory speeches which incited Muslim youth to violence. Now Mr Naik, who lives in exile, is accused of acquiring $28m (£21m) worth of criminal assets, a claim he denies.

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

Mr Naik, 53, promotes a radical form of Islam on the channel Peace TV. It is banned in India but has an estimated 200 million viewers worldwide. 

Broadcasting from Dubai, Peace TV is owned by the Islamic Research Foundation, a group headed by Mr Naik.

Other countries have banned the channel – including Bangladesh, where it is accused of inspiring one of the gunmen behind a 2016 cafe attack in Dhaka in which 22 people were killed.

India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED), which investigates financial crimes, filed the charges against Mr Naik in a court in Mumbai on Thursday.

It told the court that it had identified assets worth millions of dollars as proceeds of crime. 

Mr Naik’s “inflammatory speeches and lectures have inspired and incited a number of Muslim youths in India to commit unlawful activities and terrorist acts”, ED told the court. 

The agency has accused him of using funds from “dubious or suspicious sources” to buy property in India and finance events where he made “provocative speeches”.

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