HYDERABAD: Even as she was being brought to the office of Enforcement Directorate in the city where she will spend the next seven days facing questions posed by investigators, a 45-year-old Nowhera Shaikh, director of Heera Group, made her intentions clear. Confident as ever, she told the waiting media persons “emi ledandi.....inthavaraku evari daggara okka chinna proof kooda ledu”(there is not an iota of evidence against me).
However, things do not appear simple for her as the ED is only set to intensify investigation under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) in a fraudulent money circulation scheme of her Hyderabad-based organisation. ED has initiated investigations on the basis of FIRs registered by Telangana police against Nowhera Shaikh, Molly Thomas and Biju Thomas and Heera Group of companies.
The ED is expected to grill the three accused about their connection with their companies, bank accounts, and multiple properties identified across the country. The Heera Group is accused of fraudulently collecting investments from lakhs of people on a promise of providing very high returns of approximately 36 per cent by indulging in gold trading etc. The investigators have a reason to believe the scheme was unsustainable. They found that the companies do not have any substantial actual business activity by which they can earn the promised profits/returns.
Nowhera Shaikh and others, therefore, have diverted the collected amounts to their personal accounts through their company bank accounts/benamis for wrongful gain and amassed huge movable and immovable properties.
As the group defaulted in repayment of the principal amount and promised returns to its investors, mutliple FIRs have been registered by Telangana police against Nowhera Shaikh, Molly Thomas and Biju Thomas and Heera Group of companies.
The investigators have found that the accused and their group companies have collected more than `3,000 crore from 1,72,114 investors across India. Deposits were also collected from people in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala.
The other accused Biju Thomas of Suvan Technologies Solutions India Pvt Ltd, Kerala, has developed the software for Heera Group and all the account details were maintained by his firm. Whereas, Molly worked as PA to Nowhera Shaikh and assisted in her criminal activities.
Accusations against Heera Group
The Heera Group is accused of fraudulently collecting investments from lakhs of people on a promise of providing very high returns of approximately 36 per cent by indulging in gold trading etc