Hyderabad: Enforcement Directorate (ED) has taken Heera Group Director Nowhera Shaikh, Molly Thomas and Biju Thomas in its custody for seven days under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) in a fraudulent money circulation scheme of her Hyderabad based organisation.
The accused were produced before the Metropolitan Session Judge, Hyderabad and MSJ Court sent all three to seven days of ED custody starting May 15 onwards.
ED has initiated investigations under PMLA on the basis of FIRs registered by Telangana Police against Nowhera Shaikh, Molly Thomas and Biju Thomas and Heera Group of companies.
Heera Group is accused of fraudulently collecting investments from lakhs of innocent victims on the promise of providing very high returns of approximately 36 per cent by indulging in gold trading etc. The scheme was unsustainable and the group has defaulted in the repayment of the principal amount and promised returns to its investors.
"The accused were fraudulently running a money circulation scheme. Multiple FIRs have been registered by the aggrieved depositors across the country against Nowhera Shaikh and others", said ED in a statement.
During the course of ED investigation, so far, it has been revealed that the accused persons and their group companies have collected more than Rs 3000 crore from 1,72,114 investors across India on the pretext of investment.
Deposits were also collected from victims in Hyderabad, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and other states in India and also from NRIs in UAE, Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries.
Enforcement Directorate's investigations have also revealed that the group companies do not have any substantial actual business activity by which they can earn the promised profits or returns.
ED has also established that Shaikh opened 24 entities under Heera Group and 182 bank accounts were opened in different banks at different parts of the countries in the name of these 24 entities. Further, 10 bank accounts were also opened in foreign countries such as UAE, Saudi Arabia etc.
ED is questioning the accused persons in connections with their different companies, Bank Accounts and multiple properties identified across the country.