HYDERABAD: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday filed a prosecution complaint in court against Nowhera Shaik-owned Heera Group of Companies in the multi-crore ponzi scheme.
The ED has requested the court to award punishment to Shaik and her associates, and for the confiscation of the properties attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
In 2019, the probe agency had attached assets worth Rs 299.99 crore belonging to the Heera Group and other accused in different States.
It initiated investigations under the PMLA based on the FIRs registered in Hyderabad, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh against Shaik, Heera Group and their associates.
Probe revealed that Shaik had hatched a well-planned conspiracy and lured innocent people to deposit their savings in her companies for profit-sharing rather than interest, stating that it was now allowed in Islam. She had incorporated the Heera Group of Companies and, at first, promptly paid the monthly assured profits to gain investors’ confidence.
Later, she engaged a network of marketing executives and other direct selling agents on a commission basis. Through them, she amassed Rs 5,600 crore from around 1.71 lakh investors across the country by promising high rate of returns -- three per cent a month which comes up to 26-40 per cent per annum.
To facilitate this, Shaik opened around 250 accounts in various banks across the country and eight in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. She directed the depositors’ money to her personal accounts for wrongful gains. Further investigation is underway.