ED is lying, I have paid taxes for my income: Zakir Naik

In a recent chargesheet against Zakir Naik, the Enforcement Directorate had alleged that despite having no earnings, Zakir Naik laundered Rs 49 crore over a period of six years.

Controversial preacher Zakir Naik has rubbished allegations levelled by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and said the investigating agency is lying about his tax status.

In a recent chargesheet against Zakir Naik, the Enforcement Directorate had alleged that despite having no earnings, Zakir Naik laundered Rs 49 crore over a period of six years.

“Why is the ED lying? Everyone, including government agencies, knows that I have multiple businesses and revenue streams and that my earnings have always been reflected in the tax returns that I have filed,” said Zakir Naik. He said this in a press statement, a copy of which is with India Today TV.

Zakir Naik also questioned the ED’s intentions behind the allegations and asked, “Is the pressure so huge that they need to lie to achieve the goal set out by their political bosses? For once, can they start showing some spine and be truthful in treating my case?”

Zakir Naik is also facing investigations for his alleged links with terror activities. These charges were slapped by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Zakir Naik has claimed that he has filed his tax returns “dutifully every year till 2016” and that the Enforcement Directorate has access to his tax papers.

On Thursday, the Enforcement Directorate filed its first chargesheet against Zakir Naik on charges of money laundering to the tune of Rs 193 crore. The probe agency has also accused him of creating illegal real estate assets worth crores in India and abroad.

In the chargesheet, the Enforcement Directorate alleged that the money trail probe against Zakir Naik and his associates found that “IRF received an amount of Rs 64.86 crore between 2003-04 and 2016-17, mostly from dubious or suspicious sources and majority of the funds were utilised for organising peace conferences. It was during these conferences that provocative speeches were made and religious conversion to Islam was also propagated/conducted”.

Contrary to the allegations, Zakir Naik, in his statement, maintains that he is a non-resident Indian (NRI) since 2010. He says he has been living and earning outside India for nine years.

“I earn over Rs 1 crore a month, and I send money back to India as and when required. I sent it from my Dubai account to my India account, and every penny is then accounted for in my tax returns, the papers for which are with the Indian agencies. Between 2010 and 2016 I must have sent Rs 49 crore to India. How is sending Rs 65 lakhs per month a problem? For a country that receives more than Rs 6,000 crores every month from Indians based in the UAE, how is my Rs 65 lakh a problem?” he says in his statement.

Zakir Naik was booked by NIA under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Action (UAPA) and the ED is investigating the money laundering allegations against him.

Source: India Today

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