KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) will seek Interpol’s cooperation to detain controversial preacher Zakir Naik with an eye on extraditing him from Malaysia to face money-laundering charges in the South Asian country.
According to The Hindu news site, the ED is working on getting a non-bailable warrant for Zakir’s arrest from a Mumbai court, which it expects to secure on June 19.
The warrant would allow the Indian authority to petition Interpol for a Red Notice to member countries that include Malaysia and to ask Malaysian authorities to return the preacher to India under the two countries’ extradition treaty.
The ED previously charged Zakir with laundering INR193 crore (RM115 million) in illicit funds.
The preacher, a Malaysian permanent resident and Saudi citizen, has been accused in the past of denigrating other faiths and being a threat to Malaysia’s multiethnic and multicultural harmony.
Despite his legal woes in India and past controversies here, Zakir continues to receive deferential treatment from some Malaysian authority figures.
This complicated relationship helped lend credence to a claim that the government had rewarded him with land, forcing the Prime Minister’s Office to issue a statement refuting the allegation last month.