Hyderabad: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday recorded the arrest of Heera Group of Companies managing director Nowhera Shaikh and two others in a case of money laundering through the Heera Group, Hyderabad. The trio were produced before a court which granted the ED seven days of custody of the suspects.
The ED had conducted an investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Shaikh, Molly Thomas and Biju Thomas and Heera Group of Companies, after the company was accused of fraudulently collecting investments from lakhs of persons promising high returns of up to 36 per cent. The scheme was unsustainable and the group defaulted in repayment of the principal amount and the returns.
Deposits were collected from people in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and other States. Similarly, NRIs from UAE, Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries invested money.
The Metropolitan Sessions Judge granted seven day custody of the three persons to the ED for questioning beginning on Wednesday.
“Multiple FIRs have been registered by aggrieved depositors across the country against Nowhera Shaikh and others. During the course of ED investigation, so far, it is revealed that the accused persons and their group companies have collected more than Rs.3,000 crore from 1,72,114 investors across India on the pretext of investment,” the ED said in a statement.
ED officials said Shaikh opened 24 entities under Heera Group and 182 bank accounts were opened in different banks in different parts of the country, apart from 10 bank accounts in foreign countries such as UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Biju Thomas, MD of Suvan Technologies Solutions India Private Limited, Kerala, developed the software for the Heera Group of Companies and all the account details were maintained by his firm. Molly Thomas worked as a personal assistant to Shaikh and assisted her in carrying out the above criminal activities.
ED officials went to the Special Prison for Women at Chanchalguda this morning and took Shaikh and the others into custody. They were shifted to the ED office later.